Chat Transcript: Aaron Hunt

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<font class=caption>Aaron Hunt's 25-yard field goal beat rival South Carolina last year with just three seconds left.</font>
Aaron Hunt's 25-yard field goal beat rival South Carolina last year with just three seconds left.

CLEMSON, SC -- Clemson place kicker Aaron Hunt was the chat guest in TigerActive Chat on Monday. The turnout was great and Aaron was able to answer almost 100 questions before he had to leave. We appreciate Aaron's participation and wish him the best of luck next season. Stay tuned for future chat guests.

Question: Aaron, How much are the players involved with the recruiting process, and do you follow it closely?

Answer: the only way that the players are really involved in the recruiting process is with official and unofficial visits. I think that we all follow it fairly closely

Question: Aaron, what would you consider your range would be?

Answer: well last sumer i hit a 66 yarder but that was with a one inch block. I have hit from 61 yards from the ground. You haven't seen this kind of power this last season because i was hurt in the preseason

Question: Did your teammates support you during the rough times last year? las

Answer: yeah this team is unbelievably supportive of everyone.

Question: Aaron, what are your pregame preparations like, and do you do anything different before big games?

Answer: i prepare for every game like a prepare for every practice. Its just the same to me.

Question: Aaron - What was it like to see The Hill "erupt" after your kick?

Answer: i didn't really see it at the time because jeff tackled me, but i saw it on film and it kinda gave me chills

Question: How are off season workouts going and what is your longest fg made off the ground? Thanks Aaron and best of luck with your studies

Answer: workouts are going really well. Last summer i made a 61 yarder off the ground. I have lost some of my power due to a preseason injury last year.

Question: What was it about Clemson that made you decide to come here?

Answer: the coaching staff, facilities, atmosphere, and to get away from home

Question: Do you fit that stereotype of kickers for kind of being seperate from the team? Did that change after the USC game?

Answer: Not really. Away from practice i like to be in the middle of everything i cut up with them and mess around with them like i am a position player. It was the same after the usc game

Question: hello, aaron. do you think kickers get enough coaching, resources, etc. at clemson?

Answer: Due to the number of coaches that the NCAA allows a program to have we dont have a "kicking" coach. However all the coaches put a lot of time into getting the special teams ready to go. Our form and mechanics is on us to perfect. At this level we pretty much know whats wrong if we miss and if i dont know usually one of the other kikers will point something out.

Question: Aaron--do the coaches feel good about recruting so far this year?

Answer: yes as well as the players

Question: Aaron---what is your range these days? getiing more confident in making the longer kicks??

Answer: i have always been confident in making long kicks but my distance and range was happered last year by a preseason injury. i made a 50 yarder and a 52 yarder in one half in high school so i am comfortable with long kicks. I have hit from 61 yards off the ground.

Question: Aaron, what do you say to yourself to prepare for the big kick like the one against SC?

Answer: just do what you do in practice and try tpo not let the pressure get to you.

Question: Are you going to be in on the fakes more? Lazarra got that duty last year it seemed.

Answer: i dont know if i can show the coaching staff that i have the athletic ability to do so then i think that i will. They already know that tony is a great athlete

Question: At the FSU game, did you feel that the miss on the fake field goal was the turrning point?

Answer: somewhat if we would have kicked it, it would have tied the game so it was a big momentum swing

Question: Will you be handling kickoff duties in the future, or are you strictly XP/FG?

Answer: i hope that i will start to do some kickoffs they seemed to be one of my specialties in high school. I think that only like 9 of 71 were returned in my senior season

Question: Can you talk about your pre-kick ritual. What are you thinking? Any supersticions?

Answer: i just do my routine and try to clear my head of any doubts about the kick. I dont have real superstitions

Question: Aaron: Has the team given you a nickname? What are some of the other player's Nicknames you can tell us?

Answer: some of the guys call me "jano" a shorter version of janokowski and a few others that have to do with hisw name

Question: What was the toughest transition from high school to college on the playing field?

Answer: i think that it is the smaller uprightsd more than anything, then kicking from the ground, then the fans

Question: Aaron - What goals have you set for yourself in 2001?

Answer: i want to be perfect on all pat's and at least 75 - 80 % on field goals

Question: Aaron, have you realized how big of a kick that actually was?

Answer: yeah

Question: What does the new punter Wyn Kopp look like in practice?

Answer: he is very consistant about a 40 to 45 yard kick every time

Question: Aaron--how nervous were you b/f that kick agianst usc?

Answer: real nervous before the timeout but after that i calmed down

Question: Aaron--Are you going to kick the game-winner against FSU this year?

Answer: i dont know if it comes down to it ill try my best

Question: How many fake field goals do we have?

Answer: you'll have to ask coach scott that one every time we turn around he's got something new

Question: Aaron: What was the lockerroom scene like after the USuC game? How long did y'all party in there?

Answer: it was pretty wild everyone was going crazy

Question: Bet you never heard such loud cheers for an extra point than the one you got in the Citadel game!

Answer: no i was really suprised at the noise level after that kick

Question: Aaron, did you hear Lou's heart break when your kick when threw the uprights to win the game?

Answer: no i think that lou holtz is one of the best coaches ever at any level in fact i used to want to play for him when he was at ND. I think that he has been through it all and he expects the unexpected

Question: did the time out by USC help you any before "the kick"?

Answer: yeah definately i was a wreck before the timeout

Question: Aaron - Did making the winning kick versus usc give you a better understanding of the rivalry and what it means to both schools?

Answer: yeah

Question: Aaron--What was your opinion of the other stadiums we played in this year? How were their fans compared to Clemson fans?

Answer: there is nothing like a home game at the valley. FSU and Uva had pretty rowdy fans.

Question: Aaron --- Most would agree that Clemson has lost games over the past few years because we could not hit the FG from 35 yards and in on a consistent basis. Do you feel that you have reached the point where you feel comfortable at that distance and if so, do you feel the coaches now share that comfort level?

Answer: i think that the last two games of this season gave both myself and the coaching staff a better comfort level with the field goal kicking at clemson

Question: What did you do the night after the USC game?

Answer: went to jamie somaini's apartment thats where i always go after the games

Question: Are you completely healed from your preseason injury? If not, when will it be healed?

Answer: pretty much i think that the last two games showed that

Question: Who coordinates the Special teams for Clemson?

Answer: all the coaches help

Question: What do you like best about Clemson?

Answer: the atmosphere and the team unity

Question: Aaron, how do you keep your confidence up when you miss a kick? Are you naturally confident?

Answer: kickers have to have a short term memory and not dwell on success or on failure. I am naturally pretty confident any ways

Question: do we have another color uniform besides orange and white?

Answer: not that i know of

Question: Where would you like yourself and the program to be in two years (going into your senior season)?

Answer: i would like to see us as one of the elite programs in college football that is where we are headed as we speak

Question: Any other good players at Oak Ridge High we might recruit?

Answer: we run a different scheme on both offense and defense so some of our standouts would be better suited at other programs. But we do have some great players there. Waatch out for Cory Booker in three years. He rushed for almost 1500 yds as a freshman

Question: Did the attention from the girls pick up after that winning kick against USC?

Answer: not really they just new my name now

Question: Aaron, who will be the biggest 'surprise' this coming year ? Someone waiting to step up their game having been in the shadows a little bit...

Answer: i think Donell Washing ton and Rodney Thomas will both have great years on defense.

Question: How do you like playing for coach Bowden?

Answer: its a real privilage to play for him

Question: Can you describe the feeling of kicking before 80,000 and can you prepare for that prior to actually experiencing it?

Answer: its amazing it's a real rush there is no way to prepare for it

Question: Aaron, what is a Tommy Bowden pregame speach like?

Answer: he just goes over the things that we have worked on in practice and then he leads us in prayer

Question: What sort of training do Kickers do in the off - season? Is it mostly weight lifting or are there any special exercises?

Answer: weights and some running and kicking

Question: What was your injury in the pre-season?

Answer: i had a strained hip flexor and a strained groin both on my right leg

Question: What was the toughest stadium you kicked in this past season and why??

Answer: i dont think that stadiums make that much difference

Question: The Hill went nuts when you hit that kick. Did you see them and know the kick was good or did you know it right when you hit it?

Answer: i knew it when i hit it you can tell when you hit it if it is good or not

Question: Who are the young OL that are the most impressive?

Answer: derrick Brantley, cedric johnson, and nick black

Question: When the defense blocks a kick, what is the most common reason?

Answer: break down in the line

Question: what is your 40 time? 4.4?

Answer: probably not more like 5.0 or 4.9 i dont really know i am not know for my speed though

Question: does the crown in the valley hurt your kicking?

Answer: no i have kicked on a crown for my whole life

Question: How long have you been a kicker?

Answer: i have kicked a soccer ball my whole life but started kicking footballs in 7th grade

Question: Aaron, you guys are so busy all year, how challenging is the academic side of things? What will you major in ? Thanks for your being a Tiger and good luck in your future.

Answer: we have a great academic support program but it is still tough i dont really know what i will be majoring in

Question: How does Brad Scott Differ from Coach Rod?

Answer: i dont really know i am sure that coach scott will do great though

Question: How does Derrick Hamilton look and what are his strengths as a WR?

Answer: he looks great when he is healthy he runs the best routes that i have ever seen

Question: How important is it to have the same holder? Jeff Scott seems to do a good job.

Answer: its the most important part of the kick jeff is doing a great job

Question: how many kicks a practice with snapper, holder and you?

Answer: probably anywhere from 3 to 15 depending on the day

Question: how do you see the D stacking up this coming year

Answer: it will be ok

Question: I noticed that most of your misses were wide right when we lined up on the right hash-mark? Any reason for that or just coincidence?

Answer: with my injury i had trouble bringing my hips through the ball

Question: No question, just a thank you for choosing to be a Clemson Tiger.

Answer: thanks

Question: Did you enjoy the Bowl trip

Answer: yeah it was awesome

Question: Aaron, are you still intending to wearing your HS shirt as a good luck charm?

Answer: yeah i think i will keep that up i only wore them against usc and v tech this year

Question: Do the players ever suggest trick plays or does that mostly come from the OC?

Answer: me tony or jeff might mention some thing but mostly coach scott or bowden

Question: Do you think the injury caused more problems physically or mentally?

Answer: both

Question: Aaron, it actually sounds like USC helped you by calling that time out? Is that the case?

Answer: yep i calmed my self down in that time

Question: Aaron, what are your expectations for this years team?

Answer: i think that we could go 11 and 0 but thats if we gel and play great team ball

Question: Do you try to kick the ball as hard as you can no matter where from on the field?

Answer: no unless it is a long kick i usually go about 75 %

Question: what caused the bad snaps in the gator nerves?

Answer: i dont know henry had done an outstanding job up until that game

Question: Thanks for stopping by to chat and good luck next fall!!!

Answer: thanks

Question: Aaron, what player do the fans need to keep an eye on next year? Breakout type year?

Answer: everyone

Question: Aaron, did you know about the kicking tradition at Clemson before you came here?

Answer: no

Question: What's your Major at Clemson??

Answer: i dont know yet

Question: Do you and the other Tigers frequent this site??

Answer: yes i check it all the time

Question: Aaron, you are the Man, thanks for making that kick

Answer: thanks

Question: Do you kickers have a coach teaching you on your mechanics? Kind of like Butch Harmon does with Tiger Woods.

Answer: not really we help each other

Question: dont worry, i was a junior before i declared a major :-)

Answer: cool

Question: do you practice every day?

Answer: during the season i do

Question: Does Jolly talk all the time?

Answer: yes he doesnt ever shut up but thats just the way he is we will miss him

Question: Aaron, if you were to play any other position, what would your personallity be more suited for?

Answer: i dont know

Question: At the risk of being critical, all of your misses seem to slide right on you. Have you worked on hooking the ball?

Answer: no i just didnt get my hips trough the ball at the contact point

Question: How difficult is it for college coaches to evaluate HS kickers who kick off a tee?

Answer: pretty hard most of the coaches want a film off the ground to judge you

Question: Who is the fastest player on the team?

Answer: not me but i dont know

Question: who is the coach who has been most helpful to you?

Answer: coach scott and hines

Question: Aaron, did you know Airsee Currie committed today?

Answer: no

Question: Is kicking in front of a big crowd what you expected? How nervous do you feel?

Answer: its not that big of deal

Question: Aaron, I have son who is P/K, sophmore in high school, can you help him, you are his idol!! What does he need to do at this stage of his game.

Answer: yeah contact me on my email

Question: what does Tommy Bowden say to you when you miss?

Answer: nothing really

Question: What is your range for field goals?

Answer: i have hit from 61 off the ground

Question: Do you have any soccer experience?

Answer: yeah i played from age 5 until my sophomre year

Question: Bowden has said that your not a kicker until youve kicked a game winner. Do you feel that kick will enable you take your game to the next level?

Answer: i hope so

Question: Aaron, what position do you dream of playing if you weren't a kicker?

Answer: i guess linebacker or qb so i could get some girls

Question: have you ever been in Bowden's dog house? so to speak

Answer: yep

Question: Is there that much difference between kicking a soccer ball and kicking a football?

Answer: tons

Question: What kind of conditioning/strength trainging do you work on in the offseason?

Answer: whatever our strength and conditioning staff puts me through

Question: How involved are the current Tigers with Recruiting??

Answer: i keep up with it

Question: Have any of the former great Tiger kickers every contacted you after that kick?

Answer: no

Question: Do you practice with the rest of the team or are you working on your own?

Answer: on my own

Question: Boxers or briefs?

Answer: breifs are way too restricting definately boxers

Question: aaron, do they still use tees in high school? How much distance does kicking off the ground take away?

Answer: yes about 5 to 10 yards and a lot of accuracy

Question: What was going thru your mind waiting to kick against USC? I know I was nervous!

Answer: i better make this

Question: What one thing could you do to improve your kicking game?

Answer: be more accurate

Question: Ginger or Mary Anne?

Answer: i dunno

Question: Who do you want to play since Tulane chickened out ?

Answer: anyone we need more games

Question: Did you watch the XFL? What did you think?

Answer: i like it

Question: Aaron, have you ever done punting for your team? If so is alot different or are you still basically using the same muscle groups.

Answer: i have and it is a lot different. i only have punted three times in a game for a 44 yd ave

Question: what was it like to run down the hill for the first time?

Answer: a real thrill

Question: A: Who recruited and offered you out of high school? Is recruiting as crazy as it appears?

Answer: i was invited to walk on by every one clemson and smaller schools are the only ones to offer it is real crazy

Question: Aaron, do you play basketball?

Answer: no i am too white for that sport

Question: What are your hobbies to relax from football and school?

Answer: sleep and watch sports

Question: How many seconds does coach want you to get the kick off

Answer: under 1.3

Question: Aaron, what was Jeff Scott saying to you prior to the kick against USC?

Answer: just do what you did in pracice

Question: Do you ever watch replays of the kick?

Answer: i have seen iot a couple of times

Question: do you have a relative at indiana?

Answer: i ahve a couple

Question: What % of being a good kicker is mental and what is physical?

Answer: about 90 mental and 10 physical

Question: Do you have any friends from High School that play at other colleges? What have they said is the same/different compared to Clemson?

Answer: yeah i have freinds at duke and unc they dont win as much

Question: Aaron, who did you host in recruiting this year?

Answer: tyler ford he is a kicker

Question: superfan here, thanks for a capping the year with that game winner!! Looking for more next year! Next time I'm sure it will be maybe vs maybe not!! Keep up the good work.

Answer: all right superfan how are ya

Question: how was Tommy in his in home visit with you? i've heard he is a great recruiter.

Answer: he didnt come to my home but he is a great recruiter

Question: Can dual duty of kicking off and placekicking cause accuracy problems, woould you prefer to do both or one?

Answer: i would prefer to do both

Question: Do we keep special balls for kicking? New/old? More /less air pressure? Does it make any difference?

Answer: we get the used balls that are crappy

Question: Are the kickers on the team a tight group?

Answer: yeah

Question: what is the most frustrating miss you ever had?

Answer: all of them

Question: Who is your favorite pro kicker?

Answer: matt stover or mike hollis

Question: Who will you miss the most of the seniors graduating

Answer: all of them

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