Dean Still Confident

NASHVILLE – The last month has been pretty rough on Clemson kicker Jad Dean after missing the game-tying kick against South Carolina at the buzzer. However, it's been more difficult than it should be.

Many Clemson fans continue to bombard the senior with negative emails and calls about that miss, he said in an interview with

"I was getting all that stuff for days after the missed kick," he said. "I'm still getting that stuff now, even though it's a month after the game. They say, ‘You cost us the game. You suck.'

"I have the fourth-highest field goal percentage in ACC history. Obviously, these people don't know what they're talking about. It might have sucked for that one kick, but over the course of my career, if they look back, I think they'll realize what they're saying isn't true."

Even if Dean makes the kick, there's no guarantee the Tigers would have won in overtime. So, to put the loss on his shoulders is totally unfair. He's not the one that gave up over 500 yards to the South Carolina offense.

And though he missed one of the biggest kicks of career, Dean continues to holds his head high.

"I don't have any regrets," he said. "This year, I was put in some tough situations in the beginning of the year. I'm actually more proud of myself with the way I bounced back this year as opposed to last year. As a person, I'm more proud with the way I handled the adversity this year.

"When I look back over my Clemson career, it was probably the best four years of my life. I've definitely enjoyed it."

Motivation for a win
Each player has his own personal reason for wanting to win the bowl and Tigers head coach Tommy Bowden is no different.

"Nine wins looks better in the paper than eight, especially if you're renegotiating," he said.

Athletics director Terry Don Phillips has been quoted as saying Bowden's contract will stay as is.

Quick hits
Offensive guard Nathan Bennett and center Dustin Fry each received their invitations to attend the NFL Combine, which will be held Feb. 21-27 in Indianapolis. … Bowden said a couple of players missed curfew, but that they won't be suspended for the game. He said the coaches will run the players that were late. Top Stories