There are just a few times when a kicker is talked about. If he makes a game-winning kick or if he is missing kicks. There really is not and in between.
That is the life of a kicker in football. They have one job, and that is to kick the football between the uprights.
However, it cannot be stated anymore on how valuable Clemson placekicker B.T. Potter has become to the top-ranked Tigers. First off, he is making his kicks. Through four games, the sophomore is 5-of-7 with a career long 51-yard field goal. The longest field goal at Clemson is six years. He is also has made all 20 of his PATs, a point that should never be taken for granted, but it often is.
But those are not the only reasons Potter is valuable to Clemson. On his 21 kickoffs this season, the Rock Hill, South Carolina native has kicked the ball through the end zone for touchbacks on 18 of his 21 kicks.
“It is (a weapon) there is no question,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said. “We don’t want to put all the pressure on B.T., but it is nice when you have a guy like that who you know can create field position for you, just with his ability to kick it out. So, that is always a good thing.”
However, Clemson still works on tackling and covering kickoffs, just in case Potter misses a kick, which rarely happens. Like Swinney said, they don’t always want to put the pressure on their young kicker.
“We go in with the mindset that every kick is coming back,” Swinney said. “That is how we want to cover every time and be disciplined. We work hard on it.”
The results show that. So far, the six times a kickoff has been returned, the opposition is averaging just 10.7 yards per return, which ranks third in the country.
“We probably work as hard on kickoffs … you would not think we would, but we work as hard on kickoff coverage as we do anything. Us coaches cover every kick in practice. Every Monday, every Tuesday and every Thursday. Every time the ball … we kick, we all cover it, all of us coaches. Everybody lines up and we cover right behind them.
“It is a mindset that we have created, but it is nice when you have a guy that can bomb it like that and take … if they are going to be bringing it back, they are going to be bringing it back from deep in the end zone, and we like our odds on that.”
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