Top Kicker Commits to Clemson

Clemson assistant Dabo Swinney and the Clemson Tigers received a verbal commitment from the No. 1 kicker in the state of South Carolina for the class of 2008 on Thursday. CUTigers.com has the latest in this recruiting update.

Spencer Benton Profile

Myrtle Beach special teams standout Spencer Benton gave his verbal commitment to the Clemson Tigers earlier Thursday afternoon.

He chose the Tigers over South Carolina and Duke.

Benton will have the opportunity to compete for both the starting placekicker and punter positions once he arrives on campus.

Last season the Myrtle Beach standout was 9-of-12 on field goals. His longest field goal was 49 yards and he had four over 45 yards. Benton also averaged 38 yards per punt with a season long of 58 yards.

Benton spoke with CUTigers.com about his big decision afterwards.

"I was sitting in 3rd block today thinking about where I wanted to go," he said. "And I was going through what I liked about Clemson, South Carolina and Duke. I was thinking about going to Carolina. It would have been good timing with their kicker. I just didn't want to spend the next four years in Columbia.

"I just felt strong about Clemson. I have been going there since I was a kid. It is awesome up there. I can't wait to get up there and run down the hill."

Benton said he immediated called his main recruiter, wide receivers coach Dabo Swinney to tell him of his decision.

"I called coach Swinney up around 4:30 or 5 and told him I wanted to commit to Clemson," he said. "He was real excited. Then I called coach Bowden and talked with him."

Benton said Bowden told him there is a chance he may have to grayshirt, but there could also be an opportunity to come in and compete for playing time as a true freshman.

"I talked it over with my coach and my family. There is a chance I may grayshirt," Benton said. "I could also end up redshirting or I could come in and win the job. It just depends.

"My coach and I talked about the grayshirt. Another player from Myrtle Beach, Brandon Fry, went to Virginia Tech and grayshirted. Now he is getting ready to go to the NFL. If I grayshirt it would space me out with the other players. I'm pumped for it. It sounds good. Whatever works out is fine. I am going to just come up there and compete hard."

Benton also wanted to let Clemson fans know even if he grayshirts, he won't be changing his mind with his commitment to the Tigers.

"I'm 100 percent firm. I won't be changing my mind," he added.

Benton is the seventh public verbal commitment for the Tigers in their 2008 class.


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