Hamlin: "I'm Feeling Good"

CLEMSON – While it's still not a sure thing, Clemson safety Michael Hamlin told CUTigers.com that his playing against Wake Forest is as close as it can be to a guarantee.

Hamlin broke the fifth metacarpal bone, which is located on the outside of his foot. He had a screw inserted to stabilize the bone. It was initially thought he'd miss roughly eight weeks.

Now, it appears he's going to cut that time in half.

"I'm feeling good," Hamlin said in an exclusive interview. "My goal is the Wake Forest game. I ran today in practice and I felt real good, to be honest with you. I'd say the odds of me playing are about a nine out of a 10."

Team officials said it's still unclear when he'll be cleared to return. They said it could even be as late as the Georgia Tech game, which is still a month away.

Hamlin said he worked out during practice by running sprints at full speed, but could still only make cuts and change direction at half speed.

"I feel pretty confident I'll be back for Wake," he said. "I'm just trying to get it in my head that I can do it."

La. Tech tougher than UNC
Many people associated with the Clemson football team fully expect the Tigers' game against Louisiana Tech Saturday night to be more difficult than it was against North Carolina last week.

Several players and coaches believe the Tar Heels quit trying after Clemson raced to a 21-0 lead by the end of the first quarter and that they just went through the motions.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, one Tigers player said North Carolina players were half trying to make tackles.

"They were just grabbing instead of really trying to hit," the player said. "I was surprised because they played Virginia Tech tough the whole game. They weren't trying to fight through blocks. They just acted like they didn't care and that they didn't want to be there."

One coach said regardless of the score, the Clemson players can expect the Bulldogs to play hard until the final play of the game and that it won't be like North Carolina.

Close, but no cigar
After tailback James Davis had already been taken out of the game, there was serious consideration among the coaching staff to put him back on the field and let him try tie a school-record fifth touchdown.

But because another running back, Reggie Merriweather, had already left with a twisted ankle, Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden didn't want to risk Davis getting hurt, too, with the score so out of hand.

"Some one on the sideline told me the school record was five, so I asked Coach Bowden about it and told him," Davis said. "He said, ‘You just need one more?' Then the coaches were over there talking and then (running backs coach Burton) Burns gave me the head shake no."

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