Clemson Football Notebook

CLEMSON – Maybe left offensive tackle Barry Richardson shouldn't have dropped the 30 pounds to be come quicker because he feels like he's has to shoulder more of the load this season.

Richardson, a junior, is down to 325 pounds, but with the high expectations of the line as a whole and this being the start of his third season as a starter, he has a sense of urgency.

"I think it's been the hardest camp because I've got more to prove," he said. "My freshman year, I was just out there and learning plays. It was easy because I was just basically walking around.

"Last year, it was kind of difficult, but there still wasn't that much pressure on me. Now, there's a lot of pressure on me. I've got to go out there every snap at full speed and not mess up. I feel a little pressure, but I put it on myself. I try to set standards for myself so I can be better next year."

The difference in Richardson is so pronounced that his teammates have even taken notice.

"Barry's obviously quicker," said senior guard Roman Fry, who lines up next to him. "Dropping 30 pounds says something about his character that he was in here all summer working to get better. Other guys see that and they follow his lead. When you've got a guy in there working to lose 30 pounds, it's very impressive."

His offensive line coach, Brad Scott, also ikes what he sees in the new Richardson.

"Barry's in excellent shape right now," he said. "People forget that Barry's just a third-year guy. He probably should be a redshirt sophomore right now. But his game is better because of experience. He's practicing being a little bit more physical to go along with his new speed."

Not only has his new weight helped Richardson with his game, but he feels better as a whole. Regardless of how big a person is, 355 pounds is a load to carry.

"I feel a lot better and I feel it's easier to get to the blocks," he said. "I'm quicker and losing weight always helps, no matter what position you're at. I like the weight I'm at now."

Quick Hits
The Tigers were rained out of practice for the second time this August, with the other rainout coming on the first day of camp. Instead of running plays, the team went over duties in plays.

"If we had a nice indoor place where you can get a full feel of everything (we would have practiced)," Bowden said. "But we did get something done from an assignment standpoint. … We got something done, but it's not like going out there in full pads and practice."

Bowden also said he's sticking to his earlier comments that six to eight freshmen will see playing time in the season opener against Florida Atlantic. … After evaluating the first scrimmage, Bowden said there are no drastic changes on the depth chart and no one has changed positions. … However, he did say that Alex Pearson is now the third string tight end over Durrell Barry. He also added that freshman Michael Palmer may be one of those that plays early.

"He's a young guy that's got to pay attention a little bit more and has got to get a little more serious about playing," Bowden said of Barry. "He doesn't understand the seriousness of it. He may be the most talented of all the tight ends. His is all potential right now." …

With the back injury to Richard Jackson, walk-on Jimmy Maners is the first-team punter over Cole Chason. While this isn't expected stay this way, Maners has definitely mad an impression with Bowden. …

The team's new punt formation seems to be working better than the debacle of last year's blocking setup.

"I've been pleased with it so far, but the true test will come in the games," Bowden said. "If you watch pro games, that's what you'll see."

Also starting tight end Thomas Hunter was in a yellow jersey Tuesday with a strained hamstring. Top Stories