That's why his small struggles during the spring were a little surprising to his position coach Jack Hines.
However, there's a pretty good explanation for it. In it's most simplistic of terms, Dean's leg was just plain tired, much like a pitcher's arm gets.
"I've been kicking nonstop since last summer," he said. "It just got to the point where I needed rest. So, right now, I'm just letting my leg rest. I really haven't taken any time off since last summer."
In six games last season, Dean connected on 12-of-15 field goals, with all of his misses coming from 40 or more yards. More impressive and more importantly for the defense, he boomed his kickoffs for touchbacks 25 times in 50 attempts.
And he has no doubt that form will return for the summer and fall once he gets his energy back. In fact, he's expecting an even better performance.
"This summer, I'm just going to work on my consistency," he said. "There's no such thing as too much consistency."
In order to achieve those goals, Dean will be working with some pretty big-time kicking coaches in the upcoming months.
First he's traveling to Philadelphia, where he's going to work with and be coached by Randy Brown, who works with Eagles placekicker David Akers, generally regarded as one of the best in the NFL.
After that, it's off to Miami, where he's work with a former Dolphins placekicking coach.
Then he'll return to Clemson and start working out in the weight room. He'll also start his kicking practices again.
During this summer's practice time is more important than usual because he has a new long snapper, and getting down the timing is essential for a successful season.
"We've got to feel comfortable with each other," he said. "Between the snapper, the holder and myself, we've just got to get our timing down and get into a rhythm. I'm not worried, though. It'll come around."
Dean Working Out with the Best
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