Dabo offers punter at camp

A Christmas gift has parlayed itself into a would-be college career for this 2012 punter from North Carolina.

P Bradley Pinion Profile

Bradley Pinion was given a football for Christmas when he was in the fifth grade. A soccer player since he was a 4-year-old, instinct took over when he and his dad took it to a nearby football field.

"He said, ‘What do you want to do, throw it?' I said, ‘No. I want to kick it,'" Pinion told CUTigers.com on Wednesday night. "The first kick was 35 yards, right down the pipes. He went to get the ball again, to make sure it wasn't beginner's luck. I kicked it again, and it went right down the middle.

"He said, ‘We're going to get you some professional help.' I've been known as the kicker around Concord ever since."

The Northwest Cabarrus High School rising senior punter performed in front of Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney during the Wednesday morning workout of this week's camp session.

"I was kicking alright. It wasn't the best day, but it wasn't the worst day," Pinion said. "I was talking to [Swinney] him afterwards—and he already told me that he was 99.9 percent sure that I was the guy, but I had to come down here to the camp.

"So, today, I asked him, ‘When are y'all looking to make your decision?' He said, ‘Why don't you come up to my office?'"

Swinney told Pinion that he had "the talent and the ‘it' factor." An offer was extended.

The Clemson offer joins North Carolina, TCU and East Carolina.

"It's down to them and Carolina. Those are the two I'm making my decision on," Pinion said. "It feels good to have an offer from my top two schools."

A decision will by next weekend. On Monday, he'll pay a visit to Chapel Hill.

"I haven't seen the whole campus. I just want to talk to coach [Butch] Davis," Pinion said.

As a junior, he averaged 38 yards per punt with a 4.3-second hang time.

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