By Keith McGonigle.
It is a tough job to be a punter. They are often overlooked and hardly ever talked about unless they do something wrong. For the last three years Clemson has been lucky enough to have one of the best punters in college football in Dawson Zimmerman. Unfortunately, Zimmerman will be entering his senior season this year and the Tigers will be in need of a new punter in 2012. One player the Tigers have shown a lot of interest in is Northwest Cabarrus (NC) standout Bradley Pinion.
Pinion was at Clemson’s most recent junior day and enjoyed the trip,
“I liked the trip, it was really fun. It was my third time being down there, so I had already seen a lot of the campus, but I got to see Vickery Hall and the dorm rooms for the first time which was good. We saw a basketball game, checked out the locker rooms and got to put on a jersey and run down the hill. I got cold chills running down the hill the first time I had ran down the hill, and I got them again the when I ran down the second time,” said Pinion.
The standout special teamer has one offer from ECU so far and may be seeing more in the future,
“The recruiting process has been crazy. It’s fun though; you got to take full advantage of it. I would say that Clemson, South Carolina, and ECU have been after me the hardest,” said Pinion.
What have the Clemson coaches said about a scholarship possibility?
“Clemson wants to see me kick live in person before they offer me. They have liked what they saw on film, but they just want to see what I am like kicking in person. South Carolina has said pretty much the same thing. The Clemson coaches said that if they offer me a scholarship I would have the punting job, and I could do kick offs and possibly fight to be the field goal kicker.”
Pinion has a great leg, he has hit a 62-yard field goal in practice, and averaged 68 yards and a 4.1 second hang time on kick offs. He averaged 39 yards a punt with a 4.5 second hang time. He went 7-12 on field goals last year. What does he like about Clemson?
“I love the coaching staff, I like the fact that they keep the students academically challenged, and they have a 75 percent graduation rate. The ultimate thing I look for is a good education. Clemson is a good school and has a good psychology program, which is what I want to study,” said Pinion.