Back in action

CLEMSON - Richard Jackson's Clemson career has been full of highs and lows.

His experiences have given him plenty of wisdom to impart upon redshirt freshman Chandler Catanzaro, the redshirt freshman walk-on that beat him out for the starting place kicker job this summer.

"In times that he's struggled, I've gone to him and tried to help him. That was my role…I've tried to support where I could, give advice when I could, about things that I've experienced," Jackson said. "That's kind of the role that I've taken on."

Catanzaro's 7 of 12 on field goals this season, including the two misses in Saturday's 16-10 loss at Boston College.

Those two misses had Jackson up for the next kick in Chestnut Hill. And he's first in line for this weekend's game versus No. 23 N.C. State.

Months before his number came up, Jackson could have mailed it in.

"It's not really in me to quit," he said. "It probably comes from my family to keep pressing on and never really give up. I've tried to stay consistent throughout the season, even though it wasn't really my job—to contribute to the team in ways that I could, even though I wasn't necessarily contributing on the field. I feel like that's helped me stay consistent in practice."

There wasn't a grudge or any ill-will on Jackson's end when Catanzaro won the job during preseason camp.

"Chandler had a really good preseason. I tried to not to put too much weight into that," Jackson said. "He was very strong and very deserving. By no means was I bitter. Obviously, I was disappointed. I had no real problems with it, because he deserved it."

It was "a rough three weeks" during camp.

At the time, Jackson was battling a knee injury. Plus, his father had to undergo a heart procedure.

Since then, dad's provided son with plenty of motivation throughout the season.

"My father has been there for me the whole way and has been here when he probably shouldn't have," Jackson said, "but he wanted to be here for me."

"I'm definitely kicking for more than myself. I'm kicking for my family, my close friends who have helped me along the way."

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