The Catman can

CLEMSON - Chandler Catanzaro has had a significant role in the three-year re-write of the Clemson football record book.

A four-year starter for the Tigers, the redshirt senior place kicker will make his final appearance on the field at Memorial Stadium on Saturday.

"Just looking back on these four years, it's been such a special time in my life," Catanzaro said.

Hard to believe the former walk-on from Greenville will go down in Clemson history as one of the all-time great place kickers. With his two field goals last week against Georgia Tech, Catanzaro passed Chris Gardocki in the school record book for most field goals over 40 yards [24].

One of Catanzaro's two makes against the Yellow Jackets was from 51 yards, which set a career-long.

"Definitely a special feeling, I was hitting the ball well in warm-ups," he said. "Glad to get that opportunity. I'm glad I took advantage of it. I hit it well."

Building up leg strength was the biggest focus of Catanzaro's final collegiate offseason.

"It's just something that I was repping a lot in the offseason…Morten Anderson always talks about treating those kicks -- say it's a 53-yarder, it's just a 48-yard with five yards to spare," Catanzaro said. "It's just kind of tricking your mind to think that way, and not to put a distance on it. It's the same kick over and over again, same routine, everything.

"So I think it definitely came from hard work and preparation in the offseason, and repping those long-distance field goals for sure."

For Catanzaro, that added leg strength could pay off in the long-term, too.

"It's always been my dream to play a professional sport. I didn't know if it would come true but I've definitely thought about it," he said. "I've talked about it with the coaches a little bit. I guess, just after the season -- I've got a couple of big games left. I've got to be ready when called upon, got to keep working hard and improving.

"After this season, we'll see where things line up and go from there."

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