Clemson needed a new kicker this week, so coach Dabo Swinney called a familiar name who wasn’t even playing football anymore. Jonathan Weitz, Clemson’s former backup kicker, returned to the team this week despite preparing for a job in the real world.
Weitz was a walk-on at Clemson from 2019 to ’22, but he spent the entirety of his career behind B.T. Potter, the Tigers’ all-time leader in field goals. Both Potter and Weitz moved on from the team after last year, with Potter in the NFL and Weitz headed to the next phase of his life.
However, Clemson’s new kicker, redshirt freshman Robert Gunn III, has struggled to start the season, making just one field goal in four attempts this year. So, Swinney called Weitz, who had an extra COVID year of eligibility left, to see if he’d come out of retirement.
Despite having a job lined up in New York City, Weitz agreed to return and took over as Clemson’s starting kicker against No. 4 Florida State. After only making extra points previously, Weitz made his first collegiate field goal in the first quarter to give the Tigers a 3-0 lead.
Swinney acknowledged that he likely would tap Gunn for any long-range kicks, but he wanted a more consistent option for shorter kicks and extra-point attempts.
“It’s either gonna be a great story or it’s gonna be terrible. It’s not gonna be anything in between,” Swinney said about Weitz, via The Athletic’s Grace Raynor. “I hope [Saturday] doesn’t come down to a kick. I don’t know if my heart can take that.”