Business as usual for Morris, Tigers

CLEMSON - Chad Morris isn't spending too much practice time worrying about how he'll go to work against Auburn without his best player.

Just two days into preseason camp, it's a little too early start divvying up the first-team snaps that Sammy Watkins won't be playing in the Georgia Dome.

"We're going to prepare like we normally prepare," Morris said. "Sammy's our guy in there. We've got Adam [Humphries] that rolls in. We've got other guys that are rolling in. There will be a plan in place for it. We've got to get guys ready to play."

There's an entire season to prepare for, not just the two games against Auburn and Ball State, the ones that Watkins will sit out due to suspension.

"This is about the long haul, as we go through this thing. We haven't gotten through any game preparation mode right now," Morris said on Saturday. "All we're making sure now is that we've found the practice field and we're giving good effort. That's what we're doing."

He added, "Our focus right now, like everybody else in the country, is the hard work put in through fall camp."

Clemson's second-year offensive coordinator is happy with what he's seen so far on the practice fields. But, they are just two days into preseason camp.

"We got a gauge yesterday, and a starting point. Today, we got better. Still a long way away," Morris said.

Effort and intensity are the two areas he's worried about during the early stages.

"I thought it was really good today," he said. "If they were giving out shorts and t-shirt All-Americans, we've got a few of them out there today.

"I'm excited about that. Unfortunately, that's not the way you play it. We can't control that until we get the pads on. We can control the effort, the intensity and excitement level out there. I was pleased with it today."

SLIMMER BOYD IMPRESSES MORRIS: Morris still thinks it's a big deal to be the quarterback at Clemson. Sort of like last summer, he demanded that Tajh Boyd take the necessary steps to take his game to the next level.

"I was real interested to see where Tajh would be at the start of fall camp, as far as his mental state of mind, his physical state of mind," Morris said.

So far, so good.

"What I've seen through two days has been a huge improvement over where he was in spring," he said. "He had to. He needed to, to progress at the level that we expect him to progress, to be the quarterback that we want him to be.

"I've said it once. I've said it again. It's a big deal to be the quarterback for the Clemson Tigers. It's not written in a contract that this is his job. He's not entitled to that job. He is definitely showing that and is showing the leadership that this team needs."

HOPPER EXPLOSIVE: Freshman wide receiver Germone Hopper looks good doing it. It's just a matter of knowing what exactly he is supposed to do.

"He's very quick, very fast, [and] explosive and definitely can make some plays. There's no question about that," Morris said. "Doesn't know what he's doing and what play to run. What he does do, he runs fast. We're going to get him there. It's the second day of camp for him. We're extremely excited about him and his future."

NEW KID ON THE BLOCK: Freshman QB Chad Kelly is in the same boat -- loads of talent with zero experience.

"Chad is another one, like a true freshman," Morris said. "Has all the tools, extremely athletic, has a live arm, throws the ball really well. He's a student of the game and has got a great future ahead for him."

The first two days were heavy on installation.

"There's a lot thrown at him. He's done a good job with it," Morris said. Top Stories