Making the call on redshirts

CLEMSON - By the time Dabo Swinney announced the redshirt fate of several players, hardly any of the news came as a surprise.


Kevin Dodd was the one exception.

After Thursday night's practice, Swinney said the freshman defensive end from Greer's Riverside High School secured a spot as the No. 5 defensive end on the roster and will avoid a redshirt this season.

"Once we got going into camp -- he was clueless this spring and just so far away," Swinney said. "He worked hard this summer. He's a big body, a big, strong body. And he's athletic. He's been good enough in practice."

Ideally, Dodd would receive only a minimal number of snaps.

"Hopefully, he doesn't play a lot, but we've got to have him. He's got to play some," Swinney said. "He just kind of showed his aptitude that he's picking it up, been very coachable and proven that he's a guy we can consider having as a role kind of guy."

NOT A REDSHIRT CANDIDATE: Swinney hardly kept his plans for Tony Steward a secret. Though Steward is running with the third-team at WILL linebacker, Swinney has maintained that the sophomore will avoid a redshirt this season.

"He'll play, probably 25-plus plays a game -- just on special teams," Swinney said. "He's got two seniors in front of him at the will backer."

Steward is also coming off of his second ACL surgery in as many years.

"He's really looked good. I'm excited about getting him out there," Swinney said.

The head coach doesn't believe think that using Steward as a special teams role player would "waste" a year of eligibility.

"Last time I checked, it's a third of the game," Swinney said. "He's a rolled ankle away from having to play a lot at linebacker."

He added, "I'd be surprised if he doesn't really impact us."

DRESS REHEARSAL: On Friday, the team will go through its annual practice game in Death Valley.

They'll cover several aspects of the game day experience, including running down the hill.

"Tomorrow will be an important day for the overall preparation process, a lot of things," Swinney said. "Getting them all on the sideline together, when you scrimmage, we're opposite, so sideline organization, where is everybody at -- communication, a lot of situations, substitutions.

"We've got a lot of things scripted that we want to a kind of present to them, to see how they react and respond tomorrow. It's a tedious day, but it's a lot of necessary things that we need to cover, to dot the I's and cross the T's."

INJURIES: Martin Jenkins will definitely redshirt this season because of time missed during camp due to osteitis pubis.

Like fellow 2010 signee Justin Parker, Jenkins will sit this season. Both will have two years of eligibility remaining.

"The biggest thing is rest, but we've tried all that. It's just has been a real hindering thing. [Jenkins] had it last year, played with it all year," Swinney said.

Isaiah Battle suffered a leg injury during Thursday's practice, but there was no word on what the injury is. Top Stories