Whitehurst Pleased with Spring Practice

CLEMSON – As the Clemson football team walked off the practice fields Thursday for the last time this spring, there was a sense of relief as well as accomplishment. <BR>

Tigers quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, for one, is happy the way the last month has transpired.

"To tell you the truth, I really didn't know what to expect," he said. "I thought things went smoother than I expected early. Even though we didn't have a good first scrimmage, I was surprised that we were so far along. Then it was kind of what I expected the last two weeks. I'm pleased with it. I hope to go out and have a good showing this Saturday and wrap the whole thing up."

Whitehurst, a senior, said at the beginning, there was some trepidation, but as time went by, he got more and more comfortable and acclimated with what new offensive coordinator Rob Spence has in mind.

"I wasn't sure how the coaches were going to approach it," Whitehurst said. "I think their approach was let's install as much as we can and then lets coach off that in the fall. So, all in all, I've been pretty pleased."

Tigers head coach Tommy Bowden said Whitehurst has done everything that was expected of him in learning the new offense.

"I think he's done a good job," Bowden said. "I think he's done real good. We threw a lot at him, but again now skill is where you can make the most strides over summer and I'm sure he'll continue to get better."

The Tigers spent Thursday in shorts and should pads going over what type of drills the coaching staff wants them to do on their own between now and August.

"They have voluntary workouts in the summer, so what we tried to do today was educate them today on what we want them to do this summer." Bowden said. "You can't be out there with them and we couldn't have gone out there this summer and said here's what we want you to do. That's illegal. So we had to take a practice day and say this is what we want you to do this summer voluntarily."

The one area where Bowden isn't concerned is players stepping up to be leaders offensive and defensively in the locker room.

Bowden cited Jamaal Fudge, Tye Hill, Charles Bennett, Reggie Merriweather and Charlie Whitehurst as those that have come to the forefront of providing the type of leadership he wants.

"I've been real pleased with those guys," he said. "We might lose a couple of games early, but I don't think it's going to have anything to do with (not having leaders). It might be the quality of the competition as opposed to the quality of the leadership. But I've been real pleased, I really have. I feel as good about that aspect of it this early then maybe in the last few years or for while. It's maybe the best since I've been here."

Those that might be held of Saturday's spring game for precaution are Tremaine Billie, Gaines Adams, Bennett, Hill and Fudge. … Bowden said he had not heard about a report that said former defensive lineman Eric Coleman had tested positive for marijuana.

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