February 4th - kicker Alex Spence to sign as preferred walk-on The Florence (SC) West Florence kicker committed to the Tigers last summer, and will compete this fall for the starting spot vacated by Chandler Catanzaro, all while paying his own way as the coaches wait for a scholarship spot to open.
When Spence first committed to the Tigers, the coaches were up front with him about the possibility of having to gray shirt or accepted a preferred walk-on spot for a semester. And, in true team player fashion Spence was willing to work with the coaches.
'It's really exciting that National Signing day is finally here,' Spence told TigerNet Tuesday morning. 'I actually just got some good news about the Signing Day situation. When I committed in June they told me up front, 'We have a small class right now and we are going to offer you a scholarship, but if we over-sign you will have have to wait until January to get your scholarship.' I told them that was fine. They've gotten a few guys lately and they've had a few key guys decide to stay.'
With late additions to Clemson’s 2014 class, Spence had a choice to make: accept a gray shirt offer and enroll next January or pay his own way for a semester and compete for a starting job in the fall. 'They came to my house last Thursday and told me that I'd have two choices: I could sign the scholarship papers like I'm going on scholarship and then I'd have to gray shirt until January or I could sign as a preferred walk-on and be able to enroll in June and compete for the starting job,' Spence said. 'I told them that I wanted to start in June. I also have enough academic money from scholarships and stuff to be able to pay for the first semester, so it really isn't too big of a deal'." - TigerNet
January 26th - kicker Christian Groomes accepts preferred walk-on "Chandler Catanzaro turned a preferred walk-on offer into a scholarship
and an outstanding four-year career at Clemson, and former Daniel High
kicker Christian Groomes hopes to follow in Catanzaro’s footsteps.... Groomes then happened to see Coach Swinney
at the Daniel-BHP junior varsity contest in late October, and once the
game was over, Groomes approached Clemson’s head coach to see if the
walk-on offer was still on the table. It was. 'He told me he
would love to see me come in and compete for a spot,' Groomes said. 'And
even though I don’t punt a lot, he told me he liked the fact that I am a
left-footed kicker. He told me he likes lefty punters, because of the
different spin they put on the ball.'... Groomes
took an official visit to Clemson this past weekend, and he said the
message from the Clemson coaches centered on family and work. 'They
told me it is a family atmosphere there,' he said. 'They also told me
that they are going to play the best kicker next season. I know they
have one kicker returning, and another kicker from West Florence who has
a scholarship. But they told me that if I come in and work hard and
deserve to play, they will play the best kicker. That’s all you can ask
for.' Groomes, who hit 14-of-22 field goals for the Lions this
past season, said he has heard from other programs but wants to call
Clemson home." - TigerNet