Kicking issues were Dabo Swinney's No. 1 concern last summer, even above unknowns at quarterback, and they continue to be this August. The Clemson coach offered one word to describe the kicking situation Monday: "cloudy."
Swinney gave Chandler Catanzaro the edge Monday, noting he has made 94 percent of his kicks from 30 to 40 yards in camp, and 78 percent overall. Swinney said former Myrtle Beach standout Spencer Benton has the second highest percentage, followed by incumbent placekicker Richard Jackson.
Jackson was hot to begin last season, connecting on 17-of-23 field goals in the first seven games, before making 4-of-10 attempts during the final seven games.
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"We'll keep on keeping on," Swinney said. "We don't play for almost three weeks, we've got a lot of ball left to go."
Benton was the favorite entering fall camp last season after a strong spring, but lost the job to Jackson and had just one field goal attempt last season.
With Parker out, Boyd to work with first team
Swinney said quarterback Kyle Parker will not participate into today's scrimmage.
Parker will be given the day off due baseball contract talks with the Rockies that were expected to last late into Monday night. Parker missed Monday's evening practice as he traveled to his parents' home in Augusta, Ga., to negotiate with the Rockies.
With Parker absent, Tajh Boyd will run the first-team offense today. While the staff says Boyd has made strides this summer, he has also made some mistakes in the first two scrimmages, and thrown several interceptions.
"Just decision-making," Swinney said of where Boyd needs to improve. "He had some things the other day where he knows what to do, but he sometimes just won't process it as quick as he needs to. ... He wants to throw that home run ball instead of seeing the underneath coverage and seeing the flat guy. Just managing the game a little better.
"He's had a good camp. He is light years ahead of where he was last spring."
Class of 2011 draws praise
ESPN released its updated recruiting rankings for 2011 with three ACC teams ranked in the top 12: Florida State leads the way at sixth overall, followed by North Carolina (No. 11) and Clemson (No. 12). The Tigers have one five-star commitment in receiver Charone Peake.
Da'Quan Bowers, who has missed a week mourning the death of his father, was expected to return to Monday night's practice, which was closed to the media ... Dwayne Allen has been named to the Mackey award list, which goes to the nation's top tight end ... Freshman Justin Parker missed practice to visit his mother, who is ill ... Five players were in yellow jerseys on Monday due to minor injuries: DeAndre Hopkins (shoulder), Rennie Moore (thigh), D.J. Howard (ankle), Ben Ramsey (ankle) and Xavier Brewer (hamstring).