Clemson to open practice on Friday

Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney will welcome 105 Tigers to practice on the fields behind the Jervey Athletic Center on Friday.

The weather is expected to be hot as the average temperature in Clemson this week has been about 100 degrees. Each of Clemson's first six practices are expected to be late afternoon to early evening sessions.

The Tigers will begin practice at 5:45 PM with their normal pre-practice walk-through. The workout is expected to go to 8:30 PM. Clemson will have four days of two-a-day workouts as the Tigers prepare for the season opener against Troy on September 3. Troy will be looking for its sixth straight Sun Belt Conference title.

All preseason practices are slated to be closed to the public. The team will hold its annual Fan Day on Sunday August 21 from 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM at Memorial Stadium.

Swinney welcomes back 45 lettermen, including 15 starters from last year's team that finished 6-7. The Tigers defeated NC State and Maryland, who finished in the final AP top 25, and took National Champion Auburn to overtime. Five of Clemson's seven losses were by six points or less.

"When I talked with the team tonight I talked to them about the fine line of winning and losing. I talked about the importance of preparing with a purpose every day," Swinney said.

Swinney told the team Clemson is a program with great expectations and it is a program that has won in the past, but it has been too long in between championship seasons.

"I wrote 20-30 on the board. We won an Atlantic Division championship two years ago, but it has been 20 years since we won the ACC Championship and 30 years since we won the National Championship."

He had present administrative staff members James Trapp (a member of the ACC Championship team of 1991) and Jeff Davis (captain of the 1981 National Championship team) in the team room at the West End Zone to bring a visual to his talk.

Swinney also spoke to the Clemson schedule for this year, which is ranked toughest in the nation based on the 2010 winning percentage of the 12 teams on the 2011 schedule.

"I told the team the schedule is a positive. No one is going to say we played a weak schedule if we have a great season. We will have earned it."

Swinney had a few other player personnel announcements. Wide receiver Joe Craig, who was suspended for a violation of team rules this summer, will not join the team until the beginning of school (August 24).

Freshman Joe Gore will not be ready for practice due to knee surgery he had earlier this summer. But he is the only player expected to be limited at the beginning of practice on Friday. Starting tackle Landon Walker had knee surgery two weeks ago and is expected to participate in Friday's practice.

Kicker Chandler Catanzaro was given a scholarship for this year. Catanzaro was Clemson's starting kicker last year and is listed as the starter entering fall camp.


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