Swinney offers Pinion after punting session Wednesday

by - Senior Writer -
Bradley Pinion working out at the Dabo Swinney football camp on Wednesday.

CLEMSON – Northwest Cabarrus (Concord, NC) punter Bradley Pinion Bradley Pinion
Punter / Kicker
6-6, 220
Concord, NC

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admitted to feeling a little nervous when he kicked for Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney at Swinney’s camp this morning, and with good reason.

Turns out he was kicking for a scholarship.

Pinion said that recruiter Danny Pearman told him last week that he was “99.9 percent their guy” but that Swinney wanted to take a look at Pinion in person before extending the offer. So when Swinney broke off from the other recruits to watch the kickers – and especially Pinion – he knew he was in the spotlight.

“Yeah, I felt a little bit of pressure, I am not going to lie,” Pinion told TigerNet. “I have a head cold, so I am not feeling the best. But I got up there and took a deep breath and broke off some good punts. I didn’t have my best day ever today, but I hit the ball pretty well. He [Swinney] said he thought I had the “it” factor and that is what he looks for.”

Pinion and the other kickers were working under the watchful eye of Pearman for most of the session, and I was timing his hang time consistently between 4.5 and 5.2 seconds. Once Swinney came over and watched Pinion punt, the head coach invited him back to his office.

“We walked into his office and we sat down,” Pinion said. “He said, ‘Look, you are our guy we want. You have the skills and the abilities we want, and we like you as a person. We feel like you will fit in at Clemson, and we really like you. The ball is in your court now because you have an offer from us.’ It was an honor for him to take me in there like that and make the offer.”

Pinion, a solid 6-6, 220-pounder, also handles kickoffs and had a 100-yard kickoff with a 4.4 second hang time at a camp a few weeks ago, and he said Swinney told him that he could definitely come in and compete for the job of kickoff specialist as well.

He will take a visit to North Carolina early next week and make a decision shortly thereafter.

“I don’t want it to be a long process,” he said. “I am not going to take this any further. They are my top two, and they have been my top two the whole time. You can't go wrong with either one. I want to make the right decision and sit down with my family, coaches and friends and look over my options. I want to go to the place that is going to help me excel at the next level and even make it to the NFL. So we will see.”

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