Clayton Hatfield prepares for return after season of nagging inj

Clayton Hatfield prepares for return after season of nagging injury

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

After a year dealing with a nagging injury, Clayton Hatfield is back to work, getting ready for September first.

"Looking back you can say should've, would've, could've, but I feel like some of those games I wasn't one hundred percent," said Hatfield. "I should've just taken one more week, gotten back into it and I would've been a little bit better."

In 2015, Hatfield led the Big 12 conference in field goal percentage. Last year he only appeared in six games.

"Sometimes it's better for you to be on the sidelines when you're injured," he said. "I had a lot of doubt in my mind about where I was health wise. I didn't really trust my leg so every time I kicked I couldn't just think about technique and how I wanted to kick it, but I also had to think is this going to hurt, how long til it hurts again?"

During the bowl game, Hatfield said he tweaked his leg again. But felt like this Spring season, was his best yet, kicking in the upper-ninety percents.

"I like to attack practice a little bit more than games so that way when I go in a game it's just a lot easier," he said. "I try to set really high expectations so I want to be in the upper 90s that way if I miss one I don't get down on myself."

Kliff Kingsbury, also pleased with his progress.

"He did a nice job. He's had a really good spring, he's been healthy. He's kicked off well too and that wind was blowing pretty good," said Kingsbury. "I was excited for him and proud of the way he's handled everything. He's come back strong."

Hatfield said his goal is to be even better for summer camp.

"I kind of want to find where just would be enough where I work really hard so my legs will be sore and then I try to be just underneath that where if I wanted to come out and kick five days in a row I could and have that right number, but I'll probably limit it to 3-4 times per week."

Hatfield's family moved to Lubbock before his first season. He said, another thing to take pressure off of his shoulders is to see his family in the stands at every home game. 

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