More Starters Hurt on Defense

CLEMSON – With the possible loss of two more defensive starters for this week's game at Florida State, Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden and defensive coordinator Vic Koenning might consider holding an open tryout with the student body should there be any more.

Starting cornerback C.J. Gaddis, who often looked lost and out of position against Boston College, has a hurt foot and can barely walk. Koenning isn't expecting him to play against the Seminoles.

Bandit Gaines Adams, who has played well in spurts, has a slight separation of a shoulder and didn't practice Monday. He isn't expected to practice the rest of the week and his status for Florida State is 50-50 at best.

These injuries coincide with the loss of starting safety Michael Hamlin, who broke his foot Saturday, and linebackers Tremaine Billie, who broke his leg in August, and Anthony Waters, who tore an ACL in his knee in the first game.

That means five starters could be out of Saturday's crucial game in Tallahassee.

"This is more than I've ever had," Bowden said of the injuries. "Two games and three starters and two of the three guys (Waters and Billie) you couldn't afford to miss. I've never had that many. …

"There's a bunch of guys searching for direction over there now. We're missing the players' leadership right now."

The options for Koenning at cornerback are Haydrian Lewis, Sergio Gilliam, Chris Chancellor and Crezdon Butler.

That starter probably won't be determined until Thursday night.

"I was disappointed in the way Haydrian played (Saturday)," Koenning said. "I demoted Sergio and put Haydrian in front of him when Sergio didn't play well, so it needs to work both ways. We'll still have five corners, which is a lot better than what we have at safety right now."

With Hamlin's injury, Koenning will have a better grasp of who will be assigned where with the safeties after Tuesday's practice.

"I told Sadat (Chambers) that he's got more lives than Cat Woman," Koenning said. "He's got another chance to show that he can do it. Roy (Walker) played pretty decent when he was in the game. Those are the guys we've got, so we'll just do the best we can with the guys we've got. …

"I thought about moving (Chris) Clemons (from free safety to Cat). At least he's repped it a little bit. We'll have more time tomorrow to ease our way through it."

If Gaddis is able to play, he could be moved to Cat safety, which is where he played all of last season.

"We'll just kind of see where we need him," Koenning said. "I think we seem to have a little more depth at corner right now, but we'll see."

If Adams can't go, obviously Ricky Sapp will start at Bandit, while true freshman Jamie Cumbie, fifth-year senior Brandon Cannon and Kwam Williams, who isn't even listed on the depth chart, will get much more playing time.

If that is the case, Koenning said not all is lost.

"The fine line is, if you go woe is me, then how do you build confidence in your young players," he said. "We don't have that attitude at all. They weren't starters for a reason, but now that they are and they need to rise to the occasion and rise to the challenge."

Quick Hits
Middle linebacker Antonio Clay, quarterback Will Proctor and punter Cole Chason were picked as the players of the Boston College game by Bowden. … Captains at Florida State are cornerback Duane Coleman, who is from Florida, Proctor, who is also from Florida, and Chason. Top Stories