ANDERSON, S.C. (WSPA)- Clemson football player, Darien Rencher, was honored with a prestigious award Tuesday, the Disney Spirit award, dubbing him as 2020’s most influential college football figure.
Rencher is a native to Anderson, a T.L. Hanna graduate and currently a walk-on running back for the Clemson tigers.
He’s the kind of player that may not see minutes on the field every game, but is a voice every one listens to in the locker room.
Athletic Director at T.L. Hanna, John Cann said Rencher helped change their football program.
“We really turned this program around and won 8 games that year,” Cann said. “He was an incredible leader, had a great year running the football for us. You just knew he was something special.”
Rencher has done more than the average player during his football career.
Overcoming an injury in high school, leading his T.L. Hanna team in one of the most successful seasons in school history, and most recently being the main organizer for a peaceful Black Lives Matter rally.
This week he was honored for the impact he’s had with the Disney Spirit award, naming him the most influential college football player in 2020.
Rencher said, “It’s a lot that goes into it. The award is awesome. It’s a culmination of so many moments, and that’s what I feel the most. There’s moments in life, they remind you why you do stuff, that you’re in the right place, that you’re doing the right thing. That all the things you went through. It’s like almost you go to go through hell to get to heaven.”
Rencher says his desire is for the impact he’s made, to last even when he’s gone.
His biggest hope he says, “Helping people dream, help people believe. There’s countless examples of people on what not to do, and I hope I just another example for people what to do. Not a perfect example, but just a faithful example.”
T.L Hanna is playing for a state championship this week.
It’s a position Cann says he doesn’t think the team would be in if it wasn’t for former players, like Rencher.