Coleman Breaks Foot

The Clemson Tigers had their first practice in pads this afternoon. has the latest, live from Clemson University. The big news of the day was the foot injury suffered by starting running back Duane Coleman.

Practice began around 3:15 PM and concluded approximately three hours laters in warm conditions.

Trouble at Running Back
Starting running back Duane Coleman is likely out 6-8 weeks after breaking his foot today in a one-one-one drill.

"It was just in a drill," said assistant coach Burton Burns. "It was a freak accident. His foot got caught under him and bent it back. We didn't think it was bad at first. Duane is a tough kid, he'll be back fast."

Reggie Merriweather and Yusef Kelly will now compete for the starting spot.

"Both of those guys are really doing well," said Burns. "We are going to go through these next three weeks and keep evaluating."

Head coach Tommy Bowden said after practice that losing Coleman will hurt.

"He was kind of making a move, and he does somethings that the other guys haven't done. He could be out up until the open date, maybe 6 to 8 weeks."

Coleman had 615 yards rushing to lead the team and had 34 catches for 309 yards receiving in 2003. He joined Travis Zachery as the only player in Clemson history to have at least 600 yards rushing and 300 receiving in the same season, documentation of his versatility.

Banged Up Receivers
Several wide receivers were held out of contact for today's practice. Among the hobbled names mentioned by Tommy Bowden after practice were Airese Currie, Curtis Baham, and Michael Collins.

"Collins is probably out through the first game," said Bowden. "He had a great spring, and a great offseason and now he's tore his quad. Currie is just bumps and bruises right now."

Curtis Baham continues to wear a green jersey at practice and is only participating in a limited capacity.

Collins' injury could be serious as he has a torn quadracept and was walking around on crutches.

"I honestly don't know how long I'm going to be out," Collins said.

Young Tackles Facing the Heat
Akeem Robinson and Barry Richardson received mixed reviews after their first day in full pads.

"They are getting better, but they've still got some work to do. They work awful hard but in one-on-one they got shellshocked a little bit," said Bowden.

"Akeem went against Mo Fountain and Barry might have went against Vontrell Jamison."

When asked who won those battles at the line, Bowden smiled and said, "The other guys."

No Change in Practice
Despite the recent rash of injuries suffered by Duane Coleman, Michael Collins, and Curtis Baham, Bowden said that he won't alter his style of practice.

"We are going to come out in full pads tomorrow and do the same thing," said Bowden. "You expect your team to hit on gameday. You got to do some. Duane got injured today in as a low risk drill as possible, one-on-one."

The Tigers will return to practice tomorrow morning for the start of two-a-days.

Due to the early start to school (Wednesday, August 18) and the late start to the season (September 4), Clemson has just three days of two-a-day practices, the fewest on record. Clemson will also practice twice on Friday and next Monday, August 16.

"We had some goal line work at the end of practice and it was spirited," added Bowden. "I saw enthusiasm out there today and there was good leadership."

Practices are closed to the general public. Top Stories