The Tigers worked for nearly three hours in the morning without its top quarterback, Woodrow Dantzler, top defensive lineman, Nick Eason, and top defensive back, Charles Hafley. All were absent as they went through graduation exercises in nearby Littlejohn Coliseum. They were back for practice in the afternoon.
Clemson now has seven players listed as starters who will play as graduate students this year.
Dantzler's absence allowed backup Willie Simmons to work the entire practice with the first team, something he did all spring as Dantzler recovered from a lower leg injury.
Bowden singled out a couple of freshmen on Saturday. "Jamaal Fudge and Eric Sampson both had interceptions during the practice and played well in the morning." Both players are first-year freshmen defenders from White High School in Jacksonville, FL. Fudge is a defensive back, while Sampson has been working with the linebackers.
"It was a good workout for some of the young players, especially on the defensive side." Bowden also discussed the progress of his special teams on Saturday.
"Aaron Hunt hit every kick down the middle on Friday and missed just one on Saturday. Wynn Kopp has punted the ball well. He is a player who has been a starter for two years at an SEC school (Georgia). He punts the ball high and few of his balls will be returnable. Tif Miller has also done well in the preseason.
"I have also been pleased with the performance of the holder and snappers.
We have the starters back in both slots, so we should be strong in the special teams this year." Jeff Scott, son of Clemson offensive coordinator Brad Scott, is the holder, while Henry Owen, is in his fourth year as the starting snapper. Bowden also noted that second year players Tommy Sharpe and Geoff Rigsby have done well as snappers and look to replace Owen next year.
The Tigers will break for Fan Appreciation Day on Sunday. The Tigers will be available in Littlejohn Coliseum Sunday afternoon from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM.
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