Palmer returns home one last time

Palmer returns home one last time

CLEMSON - Michael Palmer has looked at the schedule circled the Georgia Tech game each year he's been at Clemson.

From Stone Mountain, GA and Parkview HS, Palmer grew up going to games in Bobby Dodd Stadium. In front of a rowdy crowd of Georgia Tech fans dressed in white, the senior tight end has had an eye on Sept. 10 for a long time.

Games like Thursday's are just his type.

"I love playing on the road. I love hearing fans yelling… I get really amped up for that type of thing," he said. "It has extra meaning since I'm going to be going to the stadium where I grew up with my dad and brother, cheering for Georgia Tech.

"Now I'm the enemy going against them."

What was once used motivation, the anger of Georgia Tech backing off on his recruitment wore away over time. Aside from enjoying his career at Clemson, Palmer is even more pleased he chose the Tigers since Paul Johnson took over at Georgia Tech, where he would have been stuck in a system that has no use for a tight end.

In his first three years at Clemson, Palmer has 30 catches for 318 yards and five touchdowns. Though he didn't have a catch against Middle Tennessee, there's more of an involvement in the passing game this year.

"We're not just running dummy routes and clearing safeties out. We're in the progressions," he said. "Like I said, we're staying patient with it. Our opportunities will come."

After pounding Georgia Tech during Palmer's freshman year, two more opportunities to beat the Yellow Jackets fell to the way-side in heartbreaking fashion.

Missed field goals and dropped passes saw Clemson lose in Atlanta when he was a sophomore.

During his junior year, it was Coach Dabo Swinney's first game as Clemson's interim head coach after the departure of Tommy Bowden. Six turnovers and a few big plays later, Palmer and the Tigers lost a second straight to their rivals from the south, down I-85.

With one more game in Bobby Dodd, he's ready to increase his record against Georgia Tech to 2-2. Ready for one last shot at redemption in front of friends and family what he once considered his stadium

"I want to finish this the right way and finish this series with a win," Palmer said.

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