Potter putting his best foot forward...as a punter

Potter putting his best foot forward...as a punter

Football

Potter putting his best foot forward...as a punter

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B.T. Potter is preparing for his final season at Clemson, one in which pulling double duty isn’t out of the question for the Tigers’ fifth-year specialist.

Potter has been one of the ACC’s top placekickers for the last couple of seasons. He had the best season of his career to this point this past season, connecting on a career-high 80.8% of his field goals (minimum 21 attempts).

But Clemson needs a new punter with Will Spiers having exhausted his eligibility. Junior Aidan Swanson has been biding his time behind Spiers during his four years with the Tigers, but Potter has also taken on punting duties this spring.

Clemson’s last two practices were moved indoors because of inclement weather, so Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said he’s eager to get his punters back outdoors to further properly evaluate them when the Tigers’ spring season continues Friday. But Swinney said his veteran kicker has stood out with his punting so far this spring.

“B.T. has been amazing with his kicks,” Swinney said. “Amazing with how he’s hitting the ball right now. Really proud of him, but he’s punting the ball very well. That’s been kind of a pleasant surprise this spring.”

Swinney said Swanson is also doing “a nice job” while true freshman Jack Smith has joined the punting competition as a mid-year enrollee. Swinney said he would ideally like to have different specialists handling the kicking and punting, but he said Potter hasn’t had any issues handling both this spring. Consistency, Swinney said, is the only requirement for the job.

“I just want the best buy,” Swinney said. “Whoever gets the results.”

He’s never punted in a game for Clemson, but if Potter were to win the job, it wouldn’t be the first time a Tigers specialist handled both. Perhaps nobody did it better than former All-American Chris Gardocki, who became the first player in NCAA history to finish in the top 10 nationally in placekicking and punting in the same season twice.

Potter is throwing his leg in the ring.

“He’s trying to be Gardocki I guess,” Swinney said. “He wants to compete, and he’s been really good.”

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