New and improved

CLEMSON - Kickers, punters and long snappers are a close, tight-knit people.

And Clemson kicker Chandler Catanzaro has taken advantage of that bond and trains with the likes of Matt Stover and, more recently, Morten Andersen.

Catanzaro has worked with Stover on several different occasions through the connection of a family friend, who also happens to be a kicker.

This summer, the Tigers' redshirt sophomore place kicker studied with Anderson.

"All those guys -- those kickers, those snappers, those punters -- they've kind of have their own tribe," said Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney, a former wide receiver. "They go all over the place in the summer time and work with people. That's the way it is, even when you're recruiting them out of high school. They all have their separate kicking coaches.

"I was happy Chandler got an opportunity to kick with a guy like Morten Andersen. I think he kicked until he was like 60."

Actually, 48.

Andersen spent 25 seasons in the NFL. He holds several league records, including points [2,544], games [382] and field goals [562].


Chandler Catanzaro made five of his last six field goal attempts in 2010. (Roy Philpott)
Who better to learn from?

"He told me to use last year as a learning experience," Catanzaro said. "That's what I'm doing. I'm much stronger and more confident than I was last year."

He had an up and down first season at Clemson. Catanzaro knocked down 14 of 22 field goals [64 percent] with a long of 48.

On Monday, Catanzaro said he added about five yards to his range over the summer. But the tutoring with Andersen helped on the mental side of kicking, more so than the technical.

"On the field during games, on the sideline - stuff like that. How many balls to kick into the net. When to be ready. When to have your helmet on and be ready to go," Catanzaro said. "During the week, doing some mental work on my own, just laying down, relaxed and visualization."

Lately, he's visualized good snaps from Phillip Fajgenbaum and nice holds from Dawson Zimmerman. The kicks are true and split the uprights.

Clemson fans hope those visualizations are repeated on the field throughout the season.

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