Ready to punt, pass or run

CLEMSON - If Dawson Zimmerman strikes up the band for a touchdown run similar to A.J. Trapasso's run in Sunday's Hall of Fame game, don't be surprised to see a 15-yard celebration penalty.

"If I score a touchdown, I'll be tempted to celebratory dance and maybe get that penalty. It would be worth it though," Zimmerman told CUTigers after Wednesday morning's practice.

All jokes aside, Zimmerman is starting to feel good with his punts again as he and Richard Jackson continue to battle for the duty.

"The first week I punted really well," Zimmerman said. "I kind of dropped off because of some technique stuff that I was working on. You always get a little bit worse before you get a lot better.

"These past two days I've had some absolute bombs—just been crushing them."

After practice Wednesday, Coach Dabo Swinney said both Zimmerman and Jackson have punted well throughout camp, though he's looking for more consistency from one or the other.

"It's just getting a guy to be better day in and day out," Swinney said. "But, who is it going to be come Sept. 5? That's what we're watching for right now."

Excited with how he's punted to this point, Zimmerman feels he can start to focus on the smaller things, especially when his technique is right.

With a defense that is starting to look like one of the best that Clemson has had for quite sometime, Zimmerman realizes the role he could play in dictating the opponent's field position. If he does the job consistently, even if it's only six or seven times again, Zimmerman believes this season could be special.

"I'm really excited with how good our defense is. If I can put the punts inside the 20 for the majority of the punts, I don't see anyone driving (that far) consistently against our defense," he said. "It's just not going to happen. We've got too much talent and too good of personnel back there."

And if there's a fake punt thrown in to the mix, Zimmerman said he's prepared to step up and do the job. Earlier this week, special teams coordinator Andre Powell asked the kickers and punters if they had worked on their passing.

With plenty of time to kill between team drills, Zimmerman said he's made lots of throws during practice.

"We throw a lot in practice, just playing around," he said. "I would like to unleash a 45-yard pass every now and then."

Now he's just waiting for the opportunity to do it in a game. Top Stories