Thursday Practice Report

The Tigers didn't practice in Death Valley today, but the heat was certainly on as the Tigers hit the field. After today's practice Tommy Bowden announced the walk-on scholarships for this season.

Clemson, SC - Clemson held a two-and-half hour practice in its most difficult conditions of the preseason on Thursday afternoon. The Tigers worked in 90-degree conditions, but Coach Tommy Bowden was pleased with the players who went the distance.

"This was our most difficult practice because of the heat," said Bowden. "There wasn't a cloud in the sky, and we practiced for much of the day on the artificial ( Sport Turf). It was 120 degrees on that turf. But, those (players) who practiced really made some progress. We went in the right direction."

Bowden did have 15 players miss practice due to injury. The number was one higher than Wednesday as starting offensive guard Cedric Johnson was added to the list due to a bruised knee. "We have a lot of people hurt because we had two scrimmages within a four-day period.

"I am not concerned at this point because most of the players out are out for short periods of time. We should get a lot of them back on Saturday for our next scrimmage. If we were just nine days out from the Wake Forest game I would be more concerned. Obviously, we do have some significant injuries with Duane Coleman (broken foot out at least first three to four games) and Vontrell Jamison (broken arm)."

Bowden also announced after practice that three walk-ons had been given scholarships. The list includes Lionel Richardson, Jesse Pickens and Cole Downer. Pickens and Downer are offensive linemen who are at least second team. Both have actually taken snaps with the first team of late due to injuries. Richardson started the Georgia game last year and is a reserve linebacker.

"Richardson is the only electrical engineering major on the team, he deserves a scholarship for that," quipped Bowden. "He has worked hard and was an important player last year. Pickens and Downer have done a very good job and will both play for us this year in the offensive line." Bowden also commented on the ACC's decision to have the ACC Championship Game in Jacksonville starting with the end of the 2005 season.

"Jacksonville is an outstanding choice," said Bowden. "You can have rain that time of the year, so I favor the area where the rain will be the warmest. Jacksonville is a great football town and it has a great stadium. I think the commissioner made an outstanding decision."

We'll have more from today's practice up later on CUTigers.com.

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