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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Draft Preview: Bradley Pinion

Among the punters eligible for this year's NFL draft, or signing as an undrafted free agent thereafter, is Clemson's Bradley Pinion. He ranks in the top ten in the majority of the various draft rankings.

Excerpts from Pinion's profile page on the Tigers' website:

2014 Junior Season
  • had 28 punts inside the 20 with only two touchbacks
  • first in school history in punts inside the 20 and sixth in net punting average
  • had a 45.1-yard average on 10 punts with four punts of 50+ yards at No. 12 Georgia on Aug. 30 ... 
  • had a 46.6-yard average on five punts with three punts inside the 20 against North Carolina on Sept. 27; named ACC Co-Specialist-of-the-Week; named team special teams player-of-the-game
  • kicked touchbacks on all eight of his kickoffs against NC State on Oct. 4; named team co-special teams player-of-the-game
  • had a 41.8-yard average on 10 punts with five punts inside the 20 at Boston College on Oct. 18; named team special teams player-of-the-game
  • had a 43.4-yard average on five punts with two inside the 20 and six touchbacks on eight kickoffs against No. 24 Oklahoma in the Russell Athletic Bowl on Dec. 29
2013 Sophomore Season
  • had 24 punts inside the 20 without a touchback 
  • had a 41.0-yard average on seven punts and seven kickoffs (all touchbacks) against No. 5 Georgia on Aug. 31; it was his first career start; named team co-special teams player-of-the-game
  • had a 48.8-yard average on four punts and six kickoffs (five touchbacks) against SC State on Sept. 7
  • had three punts inside the 20 without a touchback in five punts against No. 5 Florida State on Oct. 19
  • among his seven kickoffs from a tee, he had six touchbacks and the other reached the endzone against No. 6 Ohio State in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 3; named team co-special teams player-of-the-game
2012 Freshman Season
  • had 26 kickoffs, including 18 touchbacks and three other kickoffs that reached the goal line
  • had one special teams tackle
  • had a 39.0-yard average on three punts and three kickoffs (all touchbacks) against Ball State on Sept. 8; it was his first career game
  • had a 32.5-yard average on two punts (both inside the 20) and three kickoffs (all touchbacks) at Wake Forest on Oct. 25; named team special teams player-of-the-game
High School
  • Rated as the No. 1 punter in the nation by 247Sports.com ... No. 3 kicker in the nation by ESPN ... No. 4 kicker in the nation by Rivals.com ... No. 6 kicker in the nation by Scout.com
  • averaged 46.1 yards per punt as a senior at Northwest Cabarrus High School
  • first-team All-American by ESPN
  • played in the U.S. Army All-American game ... played in the Shrine Bowl
  • averaged 40 yards per punt and had 17 punts inside the 20 as a junior ... had 37 touchbacks in 50 kickoffs as a junior
  • played basketball (three years) and soccer (goalkeeper) (four years) in high school 


College Stats:
2014: 75 punts, 42.6 yard average, long of 60 yards
2013: 56 punts, 39.4 yard average, long of 56 yards
2012: 9 punts, 39.4 yard average, long of 55 yards

Back in January, Pinion discussed the decision to declare a year early for the NFL Draft:
 “My family is one hundred one percent on board with it. There really aren’t a lot of good kickers coming out this year, and I just felt like this was the best time for me to accomplish my dream of playing in the NFL. I love Clemson and I thank the coaches and all of the fans for a wonderful time, but I just felt like this was the best time to see what I can do on the next level. I’ve talked to a lot of people, but I’ve known for a while that this is what I wanted to do....

I would have turned pro even if I knew for certain. I feel like I can do a lot of things – I can kickoff, I can punt and I can kick field goals. But I do think the NFL Draft is still a possibility. We will just wait and see, and if I have to go in as a free agent that’s what I will do.”

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