Andy Teasdall puts best foot forward on field and in classroom
By all appearances, Andy Teasdall has what it takes to succeed in business.
A recent marketing graduate in the College of Business and punter for the Clemson Tigers, Andy has shown poise under pressure in front of 80,000 fans and national TV audiences on Saturdays. And on weekdays, he’s proven himself equally adept, by putting in a different kind of leg work necessary to achieve honors status in the classroom.
A red-shirt senior in football, Andy says the combination of lessons he’s learned in the classroom and on the gridiron have prepared him well to succeed in his future career.
“I haven’t decided where life after college will take me, but as a walk-on player and student, I couldn’t have made a better choice than Clemson,” the Winston-Salem, N.C., native said. “No matter what life throws at me, I’ll be ready because of the great people I’ve had the privilege of learning from here – in football and in the classroom.”
Andy played football at R.J. Reynolds High School, but he starred in lacrosse and was offered college scholarships in that sport. Instead, he chose to walk-on to the football team at Clemson as a punter. “My brother, Jack, went to school here and it became clear on my visits here that Clemson was going to be a better fit for me.”
Andy’s football career didn’t get off on the right foot, though, as he didn’t make the roster in the fall of his freshman year. But he persevered and achieved walk-on status the next spring.
“Just like in life, football has its peaks and valleys and you have to move forward and be ready when your number is called,” Andy said. “This position teaches you to not dwell on the past, be patient and make the most of the next opportunity that arises.”
And he did, as his junior year, Andy was awarded a scholarship. He responded by averaging nearly 40 yards as the starting punter for a team that made it to college football’s national championship game.
Playing major college football and maintaining honors-level grades didn’t just happen with Andy. “I had a solid upbringing and was shown a good foundation,” he said of his parents, who are both physicians. But even with that direction, balancing academic and athletic schedules had its challenges.
“It was tough at times. Waking up for a 7 a.m. workout and a long day of classes, then practice again, you don’t get home until 8 or 9 at night,” he said. “You learn to take advantage of the time available to you and eliminate some of the distractions of being a college student. Generally, it’s about keeping life as simple as possible.”
But Andy also credits his academic accomplishments to having good direction in the classroom, in particular the tutelage he received from Mary Anne Raymond, former marketing department chair and Carter McElveen, senior marketing lecturer.
“My professors at Clemson have been awesome. They really opened my eyes to the business world and the wide range of opportunities that exist,” he said. “The annual marketing summer trip to New York City made me aware of what’s out there and that as an athlete there are many opportunities on the business end of sports.”
Andy is leaving all career options open as his days at Clemson wind down. He plans on participating in Clemson’s pro day where players audition for NFL scouts. But he’s wisely planning for alternatives should he not be playing football on Sunday afternoons next fall.
“Andy has so many strengths as a person and student, all of which will help him succeed in whatever career he decides to pursue,” McElveen said. “His positive attitude, work ethic, respectfulness and attention to detail are not only a great reflection on Andy’s upbringing, but are characteristics that will take him a long way.”
# # #