David Harry: The Hold

by - Correspondent -
Cole Chason was able to pluck Nic Riddle’s snap from the Death Valley turf and place it in time for Jad Dean.

Editor's Note: TigerNet would like to welcome back David Harry as a contributor to the site after a three year absence. We look forward to reading his take on Clemson sports.

At present, I know the names of only two college football holders in the United States. I am not ashamed of this fact as it indicates that my medicine is working.

Of these two holders, both are also punters, both are juniors, and both play in The Atlantic Coast Conference.

In the past few days, both players have lined up seven yards behind their respective long-snappers at critical junctures of their respective games and both were forced to handle less-than-ideal snaps.

On Saturday night with six seconds left to play, Clemson’s Cole Chason was able to pluck Nic Riddle’s snap from the Death Valley turf and place it in time for Jad Dean to punch thru a 42-yard game-winner against #17 Texas A&M.

Trailing 10-7 to Florida State on Monday night in Tallahassee, Miami lined up for a 28-yard field goal attempt with 2:30 remaining. Another low snap, but this time with a different result as the football careened off of holder Brian Monroe’s hands and the game out of the Hurricanes’ reach.

Two bad snaps, two very different results as Miami and Clemson started off the season on opposite ends of the emotional spectrum. And while Dean and freshman running back James Davis (19 carries, 101 yards) will be remembered as week-one heroes, here’s hoping that Chason’s hold garners a measure of reflective reverence among Tiger fans in the future.

* * *

It’s often the intangible qualities that ultimately allow high school phenoms to evolve into college football stars. Size and speed can be measured but traits such as instinct and vision are difficult- if not impossible- to accurately gauge on the high school level. While one game does not make a career, Davis’ collegiate debut was as impressive as any Tiger freshman in recent history. Clearly, he has the physical tools, but it is what appears to be Davis’ innate ability to find holes in opposing defenses that make him stand out. Added experience and maturity should ultimately make him a star.

* * *

It would be hard to imagine a better game day atmosphere than last Saturday in Clemson. A walk around town revealed a college football utopia of sorts, with fans from both schools basking in the sights, sounds, and smells of a day tailor-made for southern football.

The day proved to be an educational endeavor for me on a number of levels. I learned that:

- On the whole, one would be hard-pressed to find a group of fans as classy as the contingent from Texas A&M.

- Under no circumstances do I ever want to anger any man or woman with access to an F-16 fighter.

- Clemson’s new uniforms may be technologically advanced but pretty they ain’t.

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