Spring Practice Notebook

CLEMSON – The first step toward trying to reach the ACC Championship began as the Clemson football team held its initial spring practice Saturday morning. And by all accounts, everything went seamless.

"I thought the enthusiasm was good, which it usually is during the first day in shorts," Tigers head coach Tommy Bowden said. "Overall, it was a pretty good first day."

Bowden said he liked what he saw out of the three players that enrolled in January in Jacoby Ford, Jeff Ogren and Chris Russell, as well as a lot of the red-shirt freshmen.

Bowden also commented on the play of new starting quarterback Will Proctor.

"He's looked good for a while in practice," he said. "I don't think his problem is going to be inconsistency in practice."

Proctor, a fifth-year senior, said it felt a little weird being on the field without former quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, a four-year starter, being around.

"That's the first time in my four and a half years here that he hasn't been out there," Proctor said. "That was strange, but at the same time, that's something that happens. People graduate."

Rumph officially named as assistant
Chris Rumph was officially announced as the team's new defensive line coach even though he's been working in the football office for a few days.

"He's a hard coaching guy and he's well educated," Bowden said. "He's got a background here in the state. He played here, he coached high school here, he played college here and he coached college here. He brings a lot of instate knowledge."

Bowden added that he's not concerned about the fact that Rumph, who played defensive end at South Carolina under Tigers offensive line coach Brad Scott, has been a linebacker coach and has never coached the defensive line.

"I was a pretty good tight end coach and never played it and I was a pretty good running back coach and never played it," Bowden said. "I've been under the impression if a guy can coach, he can coach. There are things you want to stay away from, like putting Brad Scott in the secondary."

Rumph said despite his Gamecock background, he's ecstatic to be apart of the Clemson coaching staff.

"Never say never," Rumph said. "It's a blessing to be up here. God has really showed me a lot of favor to be in the situation I'm in. … I'm a Tiger, glad to be a Tiger and happy to be a Tiger."

An exploding offense
Rising sophomore tailback James Davis said the 2006 offense of the Tigers could rival that of Southern Cal and Texas in terms of its explosiveness with the installment of the split-back offense.

"It's more like a spread offense with two tailbacks in the game," he said. "We can run the ball any way. It'll be hard to figure out where we're going with the ball. I like that. … Charlie wasn't really a mobile guy, but Will can run with it and it's going to help the offense a lot. We're going to open it up a lot this year. …

"It's going to look like (Southern Cal) with the Texas A&M offense. This year, we should put up a lot of 40 and 50 point games."

The wrist that he fractured last season is still wrapped and Davis said the metal rod in place will come out following the spring game.

Gaddis happy to return to corner
Rising junior C.J. Gaddis said he's glad to be moving from safety to cornerback, the position he played as a freshman.

"It's not necessarily less responsibility, but it's less thinking," he said. "You don't have to come up on the run so much and know where to sit at, in particular. You've got a job and you do it, which is why I like the corner. It's more of an instinct thing than a thinking thing."

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