Credit where credit is due

CLEMSON - If he hasn't already, Dabo Swinney might want to thank Chandler Catanzaro's mother for being so persistent.

With eight more points, the graduate placekicker will pass Aaron Hunt and become the all-time leading scorer in Clemson history. Catanzaro, who has connected on 56 of 70 field goal attempts, has scored 322 points for the Tigers.

And if it wasn't for Tonya Catanzaro, former Clemson special teams coordinator Andre Powell may have never called her son with a preferred walk-on offer to Clemson.

"My mom was a big part of it, honestly, because she was relentless in trying to get me opportunities, [and] get me seen," Chandler Catanzaro said. "She and I drove up here one day -- a couple of days -- talked to coach Powell for a little bit, just asked them what I needed to do, stuff like that."

Catanzaro already had several preferred walk-on invites, including N.C. State, Tennessee, South Carolina, Maryland and Wake Forest. Clemson's didn't come until January of his senior year at Christ Church in Greenville.

"Just out of the blue one day, I remember driving home from school and coach Powell comes in with a call, calls me up and says that we have a spot for you, a preferred walk-on spot" Catanzaro said. "It was hard not to commit right there.

"I thought about it for a couple of weeks, because Furman was also in the picture…eventually [I] just felt that Clemson was the right spot for me."

Catanzaro was going to stay close to home, regardless of what Clemson did or didn't do in the first few weeks of 2009.

"It came down to Clemson and Furman. I had, almost, a full-ride to Furman, which was a great opportunity," Catanzaro said.

Now, with somewhere between 10 and 12 games left to play at Clemson, Catanzaro is considering what life might bring after football. The NFL could be next, but med school is firmly on the radar.

"My dad is a dermatologist, so that would be cool. Orthopedics would be awesome with my sports background," Catanzaro said.

Kicking field goals for a living wouldn't be bad either.

"That would be an awesome opportunity. I would definitely do my best to seize that opportunity," Catanzaro said. "That would be very cool."

Not bad for a guy who was a last minute addition to Swinney's first recruiting class at Clemson. So, maybe Swinney should pat himself on the back, too. Top Stories