Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl Insider: Day One

Derrick Hamilton updates us on his decision about the NFL draft, C.J. Gaddis tells us why he's wearing #21 this week in practice, an injury update on Airese Currie, and much more are contained in our first Peach Bowl Insider!

On Time and Ready
The Clemson Tigers arrived at their hotel in downtown Atlanta yesterday afternoon on time and ready to go. This morning, the Tigers' first practice session started on time at 10:45, on the practice fields of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. The first practice session away from Clemson lasted a little over 2 hours.

The Tennessee Volunteers also started their preparations for the Peach Bowl by practicing earlier this afternoon at Snellville's Brookwood High School.

Gaddis Playing the Part
Back up QB C.J. Gaddis has done his part all year long to help simulate some of the top talent the Tigers have faced on Saturdays. This week is no different as Gaddis will wear the #21 jersey all week long to help the Tigers' defense prepare for Tennessee running back Cedric Houston.

"Yeah, they've got me wearing this one because of Houston. I'll be him in practice all week," Gaddis said with a smile leaving the practice fields Saturday.

Hamilton Reaches a Decision?
Junior wide receiver Derrick Hamilton seems intent on making the media wait for an announcement regarding his status next season.

When asked if he has reached a decision about forgoing his senior year at Clemson to enter the NFL Draft, the Dillon native responded.

"No I haven't made up my mind yet. There's a slim chance that I could go, but I haven't decided yet," Hamilton said Saturday. "I'm not really waiting on anything, it's just making the decision and then making it public."

It's obvious that one his teammates thinks he'll be back. Kevin Youngblood made it a point in a radio interview (without even being asked) to say that Hamilton would be back in orange next season.

No All-Star games for Youngblood?
Senior wide receiver Kevin Youngblood said today that he hasn't been contacted by any of the postseason all-star games this year. At least not yet.

"I'm really disappointed or anything, I'm just focusing on the bowl game right now and worrying about Tennessee," Youngblood said.

Fellow senior John Leake learned over the holidays that he was indeed selected in the East-West Shrine Game in San Francisco on January 10th.

Currie Healthy Again
Wide receivers' coach Dabo Swinney indicated that junior wide out Airese Currie, the fastest receiver on the team, is now back to 100%.

"He looked good out there today," Swinney said. "It looks like he's over that ankle injury now which will be a big help to us."

Currie later commented that his ankle is feeling great and is ready for the bowl game. "It feels good now. I'm completely back to full strength, no doubt."

No Groover in Atlanta
Cory Groover's arrival has been temporarily delayed to Clemson due to a "paperwork" issue. confirmed this with officials from the Clemson athletic department Saturday morning.

Groover is still expected to enroll in January and participate with the Tigers during spring practice, but he will not practice with the team this week before the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl.

Groover is the standout defensive lineman out of Southwest Mississippi Junior College that is expected to challenge for playing time next year on the defensive line. Top Stories