Tigers open spring practice

Dabo Swinney discusses the first of 15 practice sessions.

Dabo Swinney opened spring practice for his 2015 Clemson football team on Monday with a two-and-a-half hour practice in perfect 75-degree weather conditions. It was the first of 15 practices, including the Spring Game, which will be held in Death Valley on Saturday, April 11 at 2:30 p.m.

Swinney has a great opportunity do gain great experience this spring because 15 of his new freshmen are already in school, meaning all but 10 scholarship players will go through spring practice, the largest amount in Clemson history.

After practice Swinney talked to the team about the importance of the mental and physical approach to this spring.

"We have to finish this spring with an improved football I.Q. ,” said Swinney. “We have to improve our toughness from a mental and physical standpoint. We are going to work very hard on developing toughness in both areas. We have a lot of new players, but we have time to make a lot of progress.

The Tigers will practice on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday this week. Next week there will be practices on Monday and Wednesday before the team has time off for Clemson’s Spring Break.

Quarterback Deshaun Watson met with the media after practice and said he is progressing well from his torn ACL injury of last fall. “The knee is getting better every day,” said Watson, who will go through exercises on the side during parts of practice. He will be next to the coaches taking in every play call during scrimmage situations.

“I have to be patient, there is a process I have to go through. Right now I am working to help with the leadership of this football team. I am doing everything I can to help the team grow mentally. I am going to pick the brains of Coach (Brandon) Streeter and Coach Swinney as we go through different situations on the field.

In addition to Watson, tight end Stanton Seckinger, tight end D.J. Greenlee, running back Adam Choice and defensive back Travis Blanks, are all out of spring practice due to injury. They were all present today and going through rehab exercises.

Two running backs have changed numbers from last year. C.J. Davidson has switched from #32 to #21, while Tyshon Dye has switched from #23 to #22, his high school number. Defensive tackle Jabril Robinson has switched from #96 to #50.


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