Clemson Practice Brief (8/17)

Tommy Bowden worked his Clemson football team just once for 2-hours and 45 minutes on Friday afternoon. The Tigers had the morning off after four straight days of two-a-day practices, then worked in helmets and shoulder pads on Friday. The team prepared for a Saturday afternoon scrimmage.

The practice on Saturday will be closed to the public and the media.

Bowden said his offense looked improved on Friday. "The offensive line pushed around the defensive line during the goal line part of the practice. The defensive line will have to show improvement in the goal line portion of the scrimmage on Saturday.

"Woody threw the ball well today, as he has in the preseason. But, we are still looking for a Rod Gardner at wide receiver. We have players who make big plays once in a while, but we are looking for someone to step up and make a play every day in practice. I haven't seen that yet."

Bowden did praise the play of some defenders on Friday. "Rodney Thomas has played well at linebacker and John Leake has really stepped up his performance at the star safety. He goes 100 percent on every play."

Clemson's top tackler, Chad Carson, missed the practice on Friday and he will not play in the scrimmage on Saturday due to a deep thigh bruise. Freshman wide receiver Roscoe Crosby also missed the practice with the same injury, but he could play on Saturday in the scrimmage. Matt Bailey was back at practice on Friday after sitting out Thursday afternoon while recovering from a jarring hit he took in Wednesday's scrimmage from safety Marcus Houskin.

Running back Bernard Rambert also was back full strength after missing some time with a bruised ankle.

Bowden also said that defensive end David Ellis had decided to leave the team. Ellis, a native of Lamar, SC, lettered as a reserve linebacker in 1999 and 2000. He made four tackles over the two years. He played on special teams in each of the last two bowl games. Top Stories