Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said during his press conference Tuesday that kicker B.T. Potter responded well during Monday’s practice after being demoted from his starting placekicker job following the Tigers’ 45-14 win over Florida State on Saturday.
Swinney announced that senior Steven Sawicki is the starter going into third-ranked Clemson’s game at Louisville on Saturday, though Potter will still handle the kickoff duties as well as longer field-goal attempts.
Potter missed a 24-yard field-goal try in the second quarter against FSU, after failing to make a 40-yarder in the Tigers’ previous game at North Carolina on Sept. 28.
However, the sophomore from Rock Hill, South Carolina, had a solid showing in practice Monday according to Swinney.
“He did a good job,” Swinney said. “Like I said, he’ll be our long field goal guy and he’s our kickoff guy. He’s been doing an awesome job, but we got to give somebody else a chance on these short field goals because we’ve got to have that. He’s 55 percent, and he’s way better than that. So, he’s got to get the type of focus that he needs.”
Through six games this season, Potter is 5-for-9 on field-goal attempts, including 2-for-3 on tries of 20-29 yards, 1-for-2 from 30-39 yards, 1-for-3 from 40-49 yards and 1-for-1 from 50-plus with a long of 51 in the season-opener against Georgia Tech.
Despite Potter’s struggles, Swinney says he remains confident in Potter and his ability but wants to see him mature from a mental standpoint.
“He came back and got out there last night and did a good job, but we’ve got a long way to go,” Swinney said. “I haven’t lost any confidence in him. He’s going to kick in the NFL. He’s probably the most talented kicker I’ve ever had — just pure talent and just pure leg strength and all that stuff. But he’s just got to grow up a little bit, got to grow up and get the type of mental toughness that it takes to be special at that position, and the type of focus. So, he will. He’s a young guy. He’s got a long career in front of him. If he wants to be the guy, he’s going to have to earn it.”
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