Clemson University

How a steak dinner with Dabo helped Clemson’s kicker get back on track

Clemson kicker B.T. Potter admitted Tuesday afternoon that he was “a little upset” following Dabo Swinney’s outburst at him on the sideline after he missed a short missed field goal against Florida State.

But whatever confidence Potter might have lost after the incident, he quickly regained during a dinner last week.

Swinney joined Potter for a meal in the Clemson indoor facility and made it clear that even after his 24-yard miss against the Seminoles and his subsequent benching, the head coach still believed in him.

“Me and coach Swinney sat down for dinner one night and he told me he had all the confidence in the world in me. And that really helped me,” said Potter, who had a steak during the dinner. “That’s just something people don’t see. I know he believes in me and that was definitely one of the best parts of last week.”

Even after Swinney announced that Steven Sawicki would be Clemson’s starting kicker against Louisville, he did throw in the caveat that Potter would remain the guy for long field goals because he has a stronger leg than Sawicki.

When Clemson lined up for a 51-yard field goal on its opening drive against the Cardinals, it was Potter who was called upon. The sophomore nailed the kick.

“I practiced hard all week last week and it was nice to go out there and prove myself,” Potter said. “It was a big confidence boost, especially after the week I wasn’t starting anymore.”

It remains to be seen who Clemson’s starting kicker will be in this week’s game against Boston College.

Swinney said postgame that the kicking situation is a “short term contract” and did not commit either way.

Potter added Tuesday that he has not been told if he has won back the job.

But after Sawicki missed his only field goal attempt against Louisville, chances are Potter is back in the driver’s seat as the team’s starting kicker. Potter insists that he will be ready whenever his next opportunity comes.

“I think he was pretty mad, but I was more mad at myself. It was a routine kick and I kind of took that granted and expected to make it,” Potter said. “I just was not as focused. Thinking it’s a cupcake kick when it’s not a cupcake kick. It’s definitely a mind game for me.”

Potter’s mind is in a much better place now after a good dinner with Swinney.

NEXT

Who: Boston College (4-3, 2-2 ACC) at No. 3 Clemson (7-0, 5-0)

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Memorial Stadium

TV: ACC Network

Line: Clemson by 34.5

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Matt Connolly is the Clemson beat writer and covers recruiting and college sports for The State newspaper and The State.com
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