Tigers practice in Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Clemson returned to the practice field, this time in Charlotte, NC, on Monday.

The Tigers will face South Florida in the Meineke Car Care Bowl at Bank of America Stadium on Friday at noon. Tickets are still available for the contest that will be televised by ESPN.

Clemson practiced from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM at Charlotte Country Day High School in Charlotte. A snow storm had dumped four inches of snow in the area on Sunday and machinery had to be used to sweep the snow off the field in order for the Tigers to practice. There were still some icy patches, especially at the beginning of the practice. But, by the end of the practice, the field was 90 percent clear.

"We want to thank the person who cleared the field for us today," said Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney. "There were some slippery spots, but we made it work. It was an important day for us because this is like a Tuesday practice. We did a walk-thru at the hotel as a team on Sunday night.

"There were some slips, but we had good focus and got a lot of work done.

"South Florida is an excellent team with very good skill and team speed. They are a lot like us in that they have a fast and athletic defense that ranks among the best in the nation."

Apparently neither team will have to deal with poor weather the rest of the week. The forecast is for warmer temperatures as the week goes on, including 60 degrees and sunny at kickoff on Friday.

Clemson will practice on Tuesday for two hours, before holding a traditional 90-minute Thursday practice on Wednesday.

Clemson wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins spoke with the media Monday, his first availability since it was announced that he would join the Clemson basketball team next week.

"I am concentrating on this football game, so I really haven't thought much about joining the basketball team, but I am going to do whatever I can to help that team win. I am looking forward to it."

Hopkins led Daniel High School to a South Carolina State Championship last year as a high school senior and he was a three time all-state selection. While he will attend his first practice next week, he has played basketball often over the fall for recreation, including as recently as Christmas Day.

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