Williamson Update; Tues Practice Notes

CLEMSON – As first reported by CUTigers.com, it looks as though tight end Bobby Williamson will miss at least the first game of the year due to a severely sprained ankle when Clemson faces No. 17 Texas A&M Saturday night at Memorial Stadium.

Tests show there is no ligament, tendon or meniscus damage in Williamson's right ankle. Williamson is off crutches and didn't wear any type of protective boot in Tuesday night's practice, but his extremely limited in what he can do.

Bowden said it is doubtful Williamson will play. He also added that it wouldn't limit the role of the tight ends in the game.

"I've been real pleased with Cole Downer, Thomas Hunter, Akeem Robinson and Durrell Barry," Bowden said. "Plus, we have Cliff Harrell and Steven Jackson that can be used in that role. That's six guys."

Starting jobs not settled
Bowden said there remain a few starting jobs that haven't been decided yet and that they probably won't be until Thursday.

At offensive left guard, Roman Fry and Brandon Pilgrim are locked into a tight battle. Fry said that Pilgrim practiced with the first team Tuesday, however offensive line coach Brad Scott said it's still anybody's guess who will start.

He also added that it really doesn't matter who starts because both will get about equal playing time. The second-team player will enter on the third series, Scott said.

Also, backup positions at ‘Bandit' and ‘Sam' linebacker are up for grabs.

Ron West, who coaches each of those positions, said Cortney Vincent and Kwam Williams are in a dead heat for the backup role at ‘Bandit' and Lionel Richardson and Maurice Nelson are neck-and-neck for the backup job at linebacker.

Coach's family hit by Katrina
Running backs coach Burton Burns is thankful that his entire family back in New Orleans is safe, but it didn't come without a price.

Burns said the house that he grew up in and that his father built some 45 years ago with his own hands is flooded up to the ceiling. He also said the homes for each of his three brothers, as well as that of his sister-in-law is completely flooded, too.

Even with all the devastation, Burns was able to keep a positive outlook because everyone made it without and personal harm.

McDuffie update
Offensive line coach Brad Scott said reserve lineman Chris McDuffie is his fifth guard and that he would only be able to be used in special situations during Saturday's season opener against Texas A&M. He also added that it's going to take a while for McDuffie to pick up on the offense, almost like an incoming freshman, because he's having to learn a brand new position.

Death Valley Shrinks?
The capacity for Clemson Memorial Stadium this year will be listed as 77,381, some 4,000 less than in previous years. When the West Zone is completed in 2006, the new capacity will be 80,301.

Previously, the capacity was listed as 81,473, which included an estimate of 6,000 people on the hill. The new capacities for this year and next will count just 4,000 people on the hill.

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