Thursday Practice Report (8/16)

One day after the Clemson defense dominated a morning scrimmage, the Tigers returned to the practice fields behind the Jervey Athletic Center for another scrimmage. This time the offense looked much better.

"The offense responded a little bit better than yesterday," Head Coach Tommy Bowden said. On Wednesday, the defense held the offense to 279 yards of offense in 58 plays, including just 15-35 passing for 190 yards.

Bowden said freshman tight end Ben Hall caught his eye in the Thursday morning scrimmage. "Ben is really making progress so far. It looks like he will be able to help out this year," Bowden said. Hall was the #1 tight end prospect in the nation last year (by Max Emfinger and USA Today) as a senior at Byrnes High School, where he had 42 catches for 735 yards and seven touchdowns.

The third-year Clemson coach also mentioned the play of freshman running back Kyle Browning who has made significant strides in the early going. "I'm anxious to see what happens in the next two weeks. He might be putting himself in a position where we can use him this year."

Bowden indicated he thought the talents of Browning might have been a little overshadowed by fellow Union High School graduate Roscoe Crosby and Clemson freshman, but indicated Browning has also been able to make quick adjustments in the Clemson system because of the similarities to the program at Union.

Browning gained more than 4,000 yards in his high school career, including the 1,841 yards he gathered his senior year to go with 28 scores. He also had 33 catches for 440 yards and five touchdowns in his final year at Union.

Clemson will practice only in the afternoon on Friday. The session at 3:15 PM will be the last for the Tigers before Saturday's scrimmage in Memorial Stadium. That scrimmage will begin at 1:00 PM, the same time as Clemson's first three games of the season.

"Practicing in the middle of the day on Friday and when we are on Saturday gives us a bigger taste of the heat we will play our first few games in to start the season," Bowden said.

NOTES: Bowden had said Wednesday that freshman offensive lineman Grant Oliver had left the team because of personal reason and that his status with the team would be reevaluated in January. Bowden said after practice Thursday that Oliver will not be welcomed back to the team and he would use Oliver's scholarship for the 2002 recruiting class... Bernard Rambert returned to practice Thursday after a bruised ankle had kept him sidelined for Wednesday's scrimmage... Chad Carson (deep thigh bruise) and Matt Bailey (slight concussion) did not practice on Thursday. Both had been injured in Wednesday morning's scrimmage... Saturday's scrimmage, like all Clemson practices, will be closed to the public. Top Stories