Clemson Football Notebook

CLEMSON – In only the second outing of spring football practice, there's already been an alteration with a position on the first team. The move is a little unusual, but in reality, not all that surprising.

Clemson soccer Player Mark Buchholz has been put on the first team punting squad to join incumbent Cole Chason. Buchholz and Chason are splitting the first-team duties right now.

The punting was without question the worst aspect of the entire football team last year. Chason was consistently rated as one of the worst punters in the entire country. In fact, by season's end he was listed as the second-from-last punter, averaging just 36.4 yards per punt (blocks not included).

As a whole, the Tigers ranked dead last out of 117 Division I schools in punting average at 33.55 yards per punt and 114th in net punting at 29.42 yards. Obviously, something has to change.

This marks the third different time Buchholz has practiced with the football team. He did it during August in each of the previous two seasons.

However, since he will have been enrolled at Clemson for at least two years when football season rolls around, he won't be required to be counted as a scholarship player.

In one of those weird NCAA rules, if a player is on scholarship in one sport and plays even only one play in another, he's required to count against the scholarship limit in both sports. But that rule expires after a player has been enrolled at the same school for at least two years. Go figure.

Now, he can be treated as a walk-on.

"He's a good kicker," Tigers head coach Tommy Bowden said. "I forgot that by the time the season rolls around, his two years will be up. So, we're giving him some heavy work now."

Buchholz told that there's a real good chance he will split time between the two sports in the fall.

"It's definitely starting to comeback," said Buchholz, who was named as an all-state in Georgia as a kicker at Chattahoochee High. "I'm getting more consistent."

In four attempts with the wind on Monday, Buccholz said he had three punts that were in the high 40s in yardage and another that traveled 58 yards.

"If I hit them well (with no wind), I'll hit them anywhere from 45 to 55," he said. "And if I don't hit them well, they'll still go about 35 or 40. I'm feeling pretty good, I've just got to get that consistency where I am hitting them well."

Other Depth Charts Updates
Offensive line coach Brad Scott said he won't have a depth chart until after Friday's practice session. He said there's now way to judge players until they get pads on and start hitting.

Also, new tight ends coach Billy Napier really likes the group he's got. He said if he could have 10 Thomas Hunters, he'd be happy as can be. He also said Akeem Robinson has shown really good hands and that Durrell Barry is extremely athletic and very fast, but needs to work on his blocking some more.

New Leaders?
Rising senior cornerback Duane Coleman and rising fifth-year senior quarter Will Proctor have emerged as leaders on their respective sides of the ball.

Coleman, who said he was on pace to graduate in August, said he's trying to display the proper attitude and work ethic for all the youngsters on defense, which the Tigers sorely need to play well.

"I just feel like I can help some of the underclassmen not make the same mistakes that I made," he said. "I'd be lying if I said I've got everything down. I'm still learning, but I'm picking things up faster."

Proctor said when he steps into the huddle, there's no question as to who is in charge, even though he's been a career backup.

"Going through last season and taking so many snaps with the ones from Wake Forest and on, I was getting that sense that it was my team already just because I was getting all the reps in practice," he said. "I've gotten use to it." Top Stories