Six Pack of Questions with S. Benton

CLEMSON - CUTigers.com recently sat down with freshman kicker Spencer Benton to get his thoughts on the upcoming season and how he fits into Clemson's special teams.

K Spencer Benton Profile

Spencer what's your story for the spring? Are you considered a walk-on or will you be on scholarship?
Benton: For the spring I'm considered a walk-on because I'm paying my own way this semester. I don't know how it all works but right now I know I'm paying my own way this semester.

I know you couldn't play in the Shrine Bowl because of the back injury. What's the latest with that?
Benton: I'm not back to 100 percent yet. I'm definitely over 50 percent. I've been in a back brace for almost two and a half months now. Feb. 1 I get out of it and have another catscan and see how the healing looks. I actually started rehab last week. It was hard not being able to play the last part of my senior season and the playoffs after we were 10-0. It was a hard part of my life. But it was an honor to be picked for the Shrine Bowl.

At Clemson, where do you see yourself fitting in on special teams?
Benton: Well my strength is more in placekicking. You have to have every tool in the field to win a ball game so punting is very important. I haven't kicked in two months because of my back.

Talk about making the transition off the tee in high school to the ground in college.
Benton: I can kick off the ground pretty well. I kicked off a one-inch tee in high school and from one inch to the ground is not that big of a deal. Obviously I get more pop and I can under the ball better off the tee but on the ground I'm more accurate so it's not that big of a transition for me like it is with some guys.

So do you think you'll be able to go through spring practice given your current injury?
Benton: Yeah. I'm not going to rush it. Hopefully I'll be 100 percent by then.

If you were to win the starting job is that a situation where you'd be put on scholarship? How does that work?
Benton: That's a good question. I don't know at this point. Right now that's not too big of a deal. It doesn't matter. I'm just glad to be here.

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