'Automatic' Chandler Catanzaro aiming for a strong finish

Football - Chandler Catanzaro

Photo by Mark Crammer

Football - Chandler Catanzaro

CLEMSON - You don't even really think about it anymore, and that's just how senior kicker Chandler Catanzaro likes it.

The Greenville native lines up - and for 59 of 60 kicks this season - he's sent the pigskin through the uprights for points.

"That's something that I've tried to develop as I've been here," Catanzaro said. "That's what you want as a kicker to when you run out there - they know it's points. You want them to go get some water or something. I want everyone to know it's automatic every time for sure."

Over the last three seasons, Catanzaro has been the model of consistency nationally, making 37 of his last 39 field goals. From 40 or more yards out, he's hit 12 of his last 13, which started in 2011 with a gamewinner to clinch the Atlantic Division.

He powered a career-long 51-yard field goal against Georgia Tech last week, which was his second 50 yarder this season.

Catanzaro 'automatic' in senior year

None

"Long distance field goals (are) something that I was repping a lot in the offseason," Catanzaro said. "(Former NFL kicker) Morten Andersen talks about treating a 53-yard field goal just like a 48-yarder with five yards to spare. Tricking your mind to think that way. Don't put a distance on it and just be the same kick and same routine."

Earlier this season, he became Clemson's career scoring leader (386), and he closes a memorable run in Death Valley this Saturday.

"It's crazy. Looking back on these four years, it's such a special time in my life," said Catanzaro. "My main goal right now is to take every moment in and not take anything for granted."

With the distance added to his uncanny accuracy, the next level of football will look his way, which could fulfill a lifelong goal.

"It's always been my dream to play a professional sport. I didn't know it would come true," Catanzaro said. "I've definitely thought about it and talked about it with the coaches a little bit. I've got a couple big games left and I've got to be ready when I'm called upon.

"After the season, we'll see how it lines up."

IN PERSPECTIVE

Clemson will hold its Military Appreciation Day Saturday, fittingly with military college The Citadel in town.

The stands will be have a little more purple due to the "Purple Out" - a nod to the Purple Heart, which Tigers sophomore receiver Daniel Rodriguez earned for his service in Afghanistan in 2009.

Whether it's pregame parades or in-game recognitions - Clemson will honor veterans, current military personnel and fallen soldiers throughout the day, and at halftime, The Citadel's Summerall Guards and Tiger Band will join together to play the military hymns of the five service branches.

Clemson senior quarterback Tajh Boyd says it's a day that keeps the game of football in perspective.

"You watch the news and see things on TV that you can only fathom. You don't really understand," Boyd said, whose Dad served in the Navy. "You would like to put yourself in that situation, but you really don't know. You hear stories about Daniel Rodriguez and I hear the stories from family members. It's something that you can only imagine.

"For us to be able to get out here and play football - a game that we love is awesome. It's always important to not only to represent right for this game, but appreciate the life we live and have."

RUNNING GAME ON TRACK

With one healthy running back (Rod McDowell), Clemson averaged its season-high yards per carry (4.54) against the No. 10 rushing ā€˜Dā€™ Georgia Tech last week.

"Hot Rod" led the way with 11 carries for 60 yards and a touchdown. Taking out sacks, Boyd averaged 5.3 yards per carry, while backup quarterbacks Cole Stoudt and Chad Kelly added seven rushes for 52 yards.

Since being held to three yards a carry against FSU, Clemson has averaged 197 rushing yards on 45.7 carries per game. McDowell has totaled 737 rushing yards, but all four of his rushing score have come in this stretch, averaging 97 yards per game.

"We always want to run the ball," senior left tackle Brandon Thomas said. "50-50 at all possible. Some situations just happened that we've had to throw the ball more, but these past games, we've stuck the run and we've said we're going to run it and we actually did.ā€

© 2013 OrangeAndWhite.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Comments » 1

rsb8931#286014 writes:

He is as good as they get. We will miss him as much as Sammy and Tajh, almost. He never misses a kick. I would say he is going in the first round and if the team picking 6th needs a place kicker he will go 6th. Clemson will miss him terribly. What a great player he was for us. I think he has made 95% of his kicks over his years. You got to really be good to be better than 95%.

Share your thoughts

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Click here for our full user agreement.

Comments can be shared on Facebook and Yahoo!. Add both options by connecting your profiles.

Features