Clemson punter Bradley Pinion declares for NFL draft

CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) Clemson punter Bradley Pinion is giving up his final season for the pros.

Pinion announced his intentions Tuesday.

Pinion had the fifth-best average in the Atlantic Coast Conference last fall at 42.6 yards per punt. He led the ACC and set a Clemson record with 28 punts downed inside the 20-yard line. He also had 36 touchbacks on 74 kickoffs this season.

Pinion had 102 touchbacks in 178 career kickoffs with the Tigers.

The 6-foot-6 Pinion, from Concord, North Carolina, said in a statement it was always his dream to play in the NFL and he believed the timing was right to turn professional.

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney says Pinion was a big reason for the team’s success on special teams and wishes him well.