Clemson Football Notebook

CLEMSON - The Clemson football team dressed out in full gear for its practice late Friday night and Tigers head coach Tommy Bowden couldn't have been much happier with the way things went.

"Today, we actually had a pretty good practice," he said. "We were in full pads, but we've still got a few distractions. Some of them have finals and a couple of them missed tonight."

But other than tight end Cole Downer, defensive end Charles Bennett and a few walk-ons missing practice due to exams, everything went according to plan.

With Saturday being the last day of finals, Bowden anticipates that will be the final bit of distraction, with nothing but smooth sailing for the remaining six practices starting on Sunday.

BOWL PREPARATION: Bowden said each member of the team is responsible for finding his own way to Orlando by Thursday, Dec. 22.

The team practices early Tuesday morning and then the players are allowed to go home until their arrival in Orlando two days later.

Offensive guard Roman Fry said most of the players will carpool together.

COLORADO'S NEW COACH: Bowden said he thinks with the Buffaloes already having hired a new coach in Boise State's Dan Hawkins that it will do nothing but play against Clemson, even though Hawkins isn't going to coach Colorado in the bowl game.

"I told the team tonight, for the underclassmen, this is their guy," Bowden said. "The first impression is sometimes the best impression. That was a pretty smart move by the AD to bring the guy in before the bowl game because that gives them some motivation for the bowl game with accountability."

QUICK HITS: Placekicker Jad Dean, who played against South Carolina with an extremely sore and bruised shin bone in his kicking leg, now has an additional problem. Dean now has a severe case of tendonitis in his left ankle, which is the foot he uses to plant when kicking.

He said he's getting treatment every day and that since Thanksgiving he hasn't been able to do hardly anything at all in terms of kicking. If it's still bad a day or two before the game, a shot of cortisone is possible. …

Quarterback Charlie Whitehurst took every single snap with the first team Friday night. … Offensive guard Nathan Bennett is back in good graces with Bowden. Bennett was suspended for the South Carolina game due to academic reasons. …

OFFICIAL VISIT UPDATES: Talk about watching practice in style.

Two recruits on official visits this weekend got to watch a lot of today's practice in an RV bus that would rival any rock star's touring bus in terms of size and luxury.

The bus was pulled through the gates and parked to the side of the practice fields, so the two recruits could watch practice without getting cold. Bowden said he doesn't know who owns the bus, which had North Carolina tags, but said that he ordered it here for the recruits.

A total of three recruits will spend the weekend in Clemson, including verbal commitments WR Kendrick Johnson and WR Jeff Ogren, both of who are expected to enroll in January, and Fork Union RB Jacoby Ford. Top Stories