Spring practice notebook I

CLEMSON - Dwayne Allen taking handoffs? 80 plays a game for Clemson's offense? All that is on the table and more thanks to new offensive coordinator Chad Morris.

Among the few periods during Friday's practice that were open to media—Team Tempo—allowed for a first-hand look at just how fast Morris likes operate.

With only the offense was on the field, coaches signaled in calls to players, who used no more than 15-20 seconds to snap the ball once it was spotted.

"They were a little gassed early on," Morris said, "but I think they caught their second wind pretty early."

The former Tulsa offensive coordinator could "sense a glow" about his players during his first practice at Clemson.

"I thought we executed extremely well. Wow. I wasn't expecting that, not on the first day," Morris said.

He was also pleased with the play of quarterback Tajh Boyd, who's scheduled to start at quarterback this fall.

"I thought Tajh did a really good job [Friday]. I thought he did a good job as a leader and controlling the tempo of what I was expecting of him," Morris said. "He threw the ball well, at times. His footwork is not where I want it to be, not where he wants it to be. It's a start. It's a day one start. It's only going to get better.

"I think he's going to know what my expectations are. We've got a starting point. I'm very pleased with where Tajh is, though."

Morris' goal of 80 plays a game is very doable, according to Boyd.

A large number of snaps on game day mean a large number of snaps in practice.

"It's great," he said when asked about his new role. "I'll be able to showcase my abilities even more. It's going to be great here in The Valley." (Roy Philpott)
"We do throw a lot, to the point where you have to make sure your arm is in shape," Boyd said. "I'm going to go in here and ice it."

The redshirt sophomore quarterback continues to get comfortable as he settles into the starting quarterback job.

"We had some mishaps here and there. I tried to flick the ball instead of throwing it, trying to be like Brett Favre," Boyd said. "Other than that, it was pretty good."

The change Boyd will be adjusting to in 2011 is the fact he'll be used more in a running capacity.

"It's great," he said when asked about his new role. "I'll be able to showcase my abilities even more. It's going to be great here in The Valley."

Under the guidance of Morris, redshirt junior Dwayne Allen is no longer called a tight end, per se.

"I'm a 'three-back.' I can split out. I can be in the backfield. I'm everywhere," Allen said after Friday's practice. "I like the versatility of the position."

In 13 games last season, all of which he started, Allen finished third on the team with 33 catches for 373 yards. He was second among tight ends with one touchdown reception.

Now, in 2011, he's just one more toy at Morris' disposal.

"There's no identity to my position…I might even take a handoff or two," Allen said.

As his career path draws closer to the NFL, Allen enjoys making himself a well-rounded tight end/H-back, the position he'll be playing on Sundays.

"It gives me extra meat on my so-called resume," he said. "I've taken handoffs, I've been a fullback, I can split out, I've been an on the line tight end. I do have the skill to block defensive ends. It's just adding something else on my resume."

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