CLEMSON – Clemson linebacker Leroy Hill continually proves why he was an All-American candidate…
Dean Gets Overshadowed
Those kicks came in spades the Tigers's 26-20 victory over N.C. State Saturday at Memorial Stadium. Dean booted four field goals, two extra points and like a machine, smoked all but one kickoff out of the back of the end zone for a touchback.
"I think (starting the season as a backup) made a difference," said Dean, who is about as modest and unassuming as they come. "It was a humbling experience, definitely. As a kicker, sometimes you might need that. You just work hard and keep trying to get better every week."
Improving is definitely something Dean has done since his arrival on campus last year.
Everyone knew Dean could absolutely kick the living fool out of the football. The problem was in his accuracy, which was erratic at best.
"The whole thing with Jad is, from where he was kicking last year to this fall, he is kicking a whole lot better," said kicking coach Jack Hines. "He was solid but he just wasn't refined and that's why we started Furr in the first game. And Furr was solid, but he gave Jad a chance and Jad's been six-for-six since that point. He's mentally getting his mind right and he's perfecting his technique and I'm really proud of him."
On a day where Dean kicks four field goals to help give Clemson the win, the defense overshadows him by collecting six turnovers. But had it not been for Dean's right foot, the turnovers would have been a moot point.
Dean, who had only attempted two previous field goals this season, nailed kicks from 47, 42, 36, and 21 yards out. He performed as though he was a grizzled veteran.
"Before every kick, I ask God to take my nerves away and luckily he did," Dean said. "Once you get that first kick out of the way, there's no butterflies."
The 47-yard field goal Dean made would have been good from 60 yards out. But to Dean, they're all the same. He takes the same approach to the long kicks as he does the short ones.
"You have to," he said. "You want to try and kick a 60-yard field goal the same way you would an extra point. You don't want to change your mechanics or anything because that's when you get your duck-hooks. I try to kick everything the same."
While his field goal exploits will get most of the attention, what will be lost on most is what he did on kickoffs, where he prevented N.C. State from returning all but one. All but two went out of the back of the end zone, forcing the Wolfpack to start at the 20.
And while that might be lost on the average fan, there's at least one person who appreciates what Dean did.
"He was pretty excited there," said Clemson quarterback Charlie Whitehurst. "I think he saw their kicker kick that ball pretty deep and that's (Dean's) territory. … He just kept kicking the damn thing out of the end zone. …
"He's doing a heck of a job. I don't think people understand how big of a weapon this is for us. To kick the kickoff out of the end zone with no return is awesome."
There's someone else besides Whitehurst that has taken notice of Dean's accomplishments.
"He's run with it since he's had the chance," Hines said. "And that's the best way to put it."
CUTigers.com Recommended Stories
Peyton Manning Breaks All-Time TD Record
Peyton Manning emerged alone atop yet another category in the NFL record book tonight vs the Niners, as he tossed touchdown #509 under the national spotlight of Sunday Night Football (NBC). (Photo…Read More
LenDale White escorted out of the Coliseum
Former USC and NFL running back LenDale White added tons of drama to what was a relatively quiet Homecoming weekend for the Trojans.Read More
Video Tip: The 1-Minute Golf Swing
Here’s a way to watch football and improve your golf swing at the same time. In your living room (or on the range), practice the one-minute golf swing, as shown in this video. Set the timer on your…Read More
Dr. Roto Video: Week 7 Recap
Dr. Roto, like many others, can't believe Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson (pictured above) passed for over 300 yards and rushed for over 100 yards in the same game. First time that's ever happened…Read More
Windy Weather Whitetails
As soon as those winds fall off, get into the stand! I always tell people you can't kill them if you aren't out, but if you want to try and pick an opportune time – this is it.Read More
- Mate swapping of the famed Suricata suricatta
- OFFICIAL GAME THREAD: No. 22 Clemson at Boston College
- Is there a team ranked ahead of us right now with a 1st year
- Chad Morris
- This carpet muncher