There might not be a Texas high school with a better track record of producing top-level college quarterbacks than Stephenville.
Jevan Sneed, Jarrett Stidham and Kevin Kolb all played for the Yellow Jackets before going on to shine at the college level.
North Texas picked up a commitment from Kade Renfro, the next player in that pipeline, on Saturday.
The 6-4, 195-pound pro-style passer announced his commitment to UNT on Twitter and talked about his decision later in the day.
“I have a good relationship with the coaches, I liked North Texas when I went up there and I’m excited about the program they are developing,” Renfro said. “North Texas is bringing in a lot of good players. I want to be the person to lead that team, help win a championship and maybe get to a New Year’s Six bowl.”
Renfro threw for 1,840 yards and 17 touchdowns in seven games as a junior last season, when he emerged as one of the top quarterbacks in Texas. Renfro was a first-team All-District 5-4A selection in 2018.
Oral commitments are nonbinding. Renfro plans to sign with UNT during the early period, which begins Dec. 18, and enroll at the Christmas break.
Eight schools offered Renfro a scholarship, including Central Florida, Texas State, Tulsa and Western Kentucky, one of UNT’s rivals in Conference USA. Renfro seriously considered UCF before committing to UNT, largely because of the connection he developed with Bodie Reeder.
Reeder took over as UNT’s offensive coordinator in the offseason. UNT tight ends coach Adrian Mayes recruits the Stephenville area and put Reeder in touch with Renfro.
“I like coach Reeder a lot,” Renfro said. “I like his philosophy. He wants to attack a defense at its weak points, score a lot of points and win a lot of games.”
Renfro described himself as a pro-style quarterback with the athletic ability to move around in the pocket when necessary. Those skills are ones he says will fit well in head coach Seth Littrell’s offense, which could look a little different now that Reeder has taken the reins following the departure of Graham Harrell for USC.
“The offense is a good fit for me,” Renfro said. “Littrell’s offense is a dream for a quarterback. You couldn’t ask for a better situation. You can help shape what happens on the field in his system.”
By enrolling early, Renfro will have a chance to learn the system from not only Littrell and Reeder but also Mason Fine. UNT’s record-setting quarterback will be a senior this fall.
“I will get to play and learn under some great coaches,” Renfro said. “I will also get to learn from Mason.”
Playing at Stephenville helped prepare Renfro for the opportunity. The quarterbacks who have come through Stephenville’s program share a bond.
Renfro can pick up the phone and consult with many of them when he needs help. He counts many of the 13 who went on to play at the major-college level as mentors. Some helped him with the recruiting process.
Renfro could have waited a few more months to see if any other opportunities came his way but decided UNT was the best fit.
“People told me to wait and weigh my options,” Renfro said. “I just felt like North Texas is the right place for me. A lot of the other quarterbacks who came through Stephenville wanted me to wait. I made my decision and haven’t looked back.”
Renfro is looking forward instead after becoming the top-rated recruit in a UNT class that is now rated No. 1 among C-USA schools by 247Sports.
Renfro has played against several of the top players in West Texas and is hoping a few more of them join him at UNT.
“I want to make this class the best that it can be. I’m trying to get some more guys on the team and help coach Luke,” Renfro said of Luke Walerius, UNT’s chief of staff who heads up the program’s recruiting operations. “I’m going to recommend a few guys.”