Tigers Have Options with Maners, Chason

CLEMSON – With nearly every battle for a starting job complete offensively and defensively, the punting duties with the Clemson football team are still far from being decided.

Cole Chason, who had the worst punting numbers in the nation last season, and Jimmy Maners, a walk-on, are in a fierce battle to see who will take the starting job.

"As we get closer to the game, hopefully in the next couple of days one of them will separate from the other," said punt team coach Billy Napier. "We're putting a little pressure on them to see how they'll do and how they'll react. We're going to see who really wants it."

Making the choice difficult is the fact that Chason and Maners have each had good camps.

"The exciting thing about it is they're both doing really well," Napier said. "Both are getting it off under two seconds most of the time and both are hitting the ball really well and trying to be more consistent. I think we're in better shape at this point than we were last year and that can only be a positive."

The starter could be named as early as Wednesday, but it's more likely that won't happen until Thursday night or on Saturday. Currently, both are splitting the snaps evenly with the first and second team.

"Those guys will make that decision for us in the next couple of days," Napier said. We're just going to wait and see how they perform this week."

One option that could occur and that has been bantered about is situational punting, where the person who punts would be determined by where the ball is located on the field.

When the ball is deep in Clemson's own territory or just outside of field goal range, Chason would get the call due to his quicker release and greater hang time. However, when the Tigers need a big kick, Maners would get the call, due to his stronger leg.

It's an option that has been bantered about, but hasn't been relayed to Maners or Chason.

"If that did happen, I think it would be a good situation," Maners said. "Sometimes Cole can hang it up there real high, but it's not going to go past 40 (yards). But sometimes, if I get a hold of it, it can go 60 or 65."

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