Tigers Practice Late Wednesday

It was a long, but productive day for the Clemson football team.

The Tigers had final exams for the second session of summer school in the morning and afternoon, then had a three hour and 10 minute practice that ended at 10:40 PM, the latest ending to a Clemson football practice on record.

The Tigers will get to sleep in until 9:00 AM on Thursday morning, allowing for some recovery time before a scheduled three-hour practice that begins at 4:30 PM.

"It was a good practice," said Head Coach Tommy Bowden. "The players were excited because finals were over and it wasn't that hot. It was an improvement over yesterday when we had the break in the middle of practice due to the weather.

"The next couple of days will be a challenge. We will go for a hard three hours on Thursday, have two practices on Friday, and then have a long scrimmage on Saturday morning. That will give us nine consecutive days of practice, the only time all year we will practice nine consecutive days. We will find out a lot about this team in the next three days."

Bowden had his team scrimmage the last 25 minutes of the practice. The offensive appeared to have the upper hand, although Bowden did single out the play of starting linebacker Tramaine Billie and freshman defensive back Chris Chancellor. "Chris is only 165 pounds, but he brought it all in a tackle after a reception (by freshman tight end Paul Muse). It was quite a hit."

Offensively, Charlie Whitehurst was sharp, hitting 5-6 passes in the scrimmage, including a pair of 40-yard completions, one to Chansi Stuckey and one to La'Donte Harris. Duane Coleman also made a fine catch out of the backfield. "The offense had the upper hand when we had a third-and-six situation scrimmage."

Bowden talked about his receivers, especially the battle between Aaron Kelly and Kelvin Grant. "Kelvin has done well, but Kelly just won't give up the position. I can't remember Kelly dropping a pass so far in the preseason."

Four players missed the practice while taking a final exam.

The players were Donnell Clark, Jad Dean, Tye Hill and Kyle Browning. Reserve center Bobby Hutchinson, a red-shirt freshman, suffered a sprained ankle and missed much of the practice. Dustin Fry, Clemson's starting center, was at practice and went through some drills, but his absence at times moved Roman Fry into the first-team center position from his normal guard position. Barry Humphries, a first-year freshman from Anderson, continued to get a lot of reps at center.

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