One minute former Clemson kicker Chandler Catanzaro was in a Zaxby’s restaurant in Charleston and the next he was on the way to the airport for a flight to Charlotte to join the Carolina Panthers.
All in a busy Friday for an NFL kicker.
The Panthers hurriedly signed Catanzaro, 27, to temporarily replace Graham Gano, out with a knee injury. Clemson’s career scoring leader will kick for the Panthers on Sunday at Cleveland.
Catanzaro, cut by the Tampa Bay Bucs after missing two field goals in a 16-3 loss Nov. 11, was in Charleston with his wife Mieke, a Lowcountry native.
“We had just got Zaxby’s when I got the call,” Catanzaro told Charlotte reporters. “It was pretty weird. So I stopped eating a large chicken finger plate.”
Told that Bojangles was the preferred fast-food stop in Charlotte, Catanzaro nodded.
“For sure,” he said. “I like Bojangles, too.”
Catanzaro played for Clemson from 2010 to 2013. He is most famous for his game-winning kick against LSU in the 2012 Chick-fil-A Bowl, a 25-24 Clemson win.
A Greenville native, Catanzaro has a career 83.2 field goal percentage in the NFL on 114 of 137 attempts with the Bucs, Jets and Cardinals. He nailed a 57-yard field goal for the Jets in 2017, the longest field goal in team history.
Gano’s status beyond this week is unclear.