Bigger Than Beckham?


by - Correspondent -
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CLEMSON - Mark Buchholz has been nothing short of sensational this fall, drilling kick after kick against onrushing defenses.

Granted, none of the kicks have counted. And none will until Monday night when Florida State comes to town. That is, of course, unless you count his kicks in Friday's Clemson soccer opener vs. South Carolina at Riggs Field.

But that's another sport. Right now, all Tommy Bowden cares about is how Buchholz responds once the lights go on for real Labor Day night.

To that end, the Clemson head coach has thrown everything he can at Buchholz during fall camp. Both in the way of a live rush and, as he did Wednesday, a mental assault.

"I tried to put pressure on him today. I asked him 'Who's the most famous player in the history of soccer,'" Bowden said. "He said Beckham. And I said 'Monday night more people will be watching you than Beckham.'

"I wanted to put a little heat on him to see if he can withstand it."

Buchholz is one of the stars of Trevor Adair's men's soccer team at Clemson.

He has flirted with football (not futbol) each of the previous two springs, before finally getting the nod from Bowden this year to come in and compete for the job with redshirt freshman Richard Jackson. And Buccholz has been more than equal to the task so far, hitting distance kicks under as much pressure as can be put on him in live scrimmage situations.

In fact, Buchholz has stated that he gets more nervous playing soccer than he does playing football.

Told that Wednesday, Bowden couldn't help but chuckle.

"He hasn't played (college) football yet. What's he got to compare it to?," Bowden said. "There will be more people watching him than Beckham. We'll find out."

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