Bowden: "I Plan on Staying Here"

CLEMSON – According to reports, there indeed was a scant trace of smoke surrounding the Tommy Bowden to Alabama rumors, but there appears to be no fire. It looks as though those in Tuscaloosa can scratch another name off the candidate list.

Editions of Thursday's Birmingham News stated "Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden and Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator Todd Grantham have received calls" from hired consultant Chuck Neinas to check their interest level in the vacant job.

When told about the report Thursday morning, Bowden said, "Did it really? I think that would be a dead issue, myself."

Bowden said that in the previous stories surrounding West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez and the job that agents and lawyers were quoted. "Have you seen mine quoted? No," Bowden said.

Then when bluntly asked if he had any level of interest in the job, Bowden said, "No, I plan on staying here. I plan on staying here."

Clemson athletic director Terry Don Phillips said he would not discuss whether or not someone representing Alabama had asked for permission to talk with Bowden.

Palmer and Barry step into lead role
With the loss of tight end Thomas Hunter with a broken foot, tight ends coach Billy Napier said Michael Palmer and Durrell Barry would split time in single tight end formations.

He also said the two would be the new tandem for two tight end sets and that Akeem Robinson would play when three tight ends are on the field.

That's a slight change from when Hunter missed the Virginia Tech game.

Then, Palmer played when there was one tight end and paired up with Robinson with two tight ends. But Robinson had one of his knees scoped shortly after the South Carolina game and is still gimpy.

DeBeer sick
Senior offensive tackle Tim DeBeer has come down with some sort of odd sickness involving his stomach that has caused him to lose lots of weight.

He's undergone blood tests and spent a couple of days in the hospital and doctors still aren't sure what the problem is.

"They thought they had it figured out, but then he got sick again," Bowden said. "He's still under observation, I believe."

Buchholz gets another workout
Current soccer player Mark Buchholz, who has worked out some with the football team in the past two summers, worked out with the Tigers again Thursday.

Buchholz was an all-state kicker while playing at Chattahoochee High in Georgia and is on a partial scholarship to play soccer. However, if he joins the football team, he will count as a full scholarship against Bowden's squad.

"I just want to take a look at him before he went home," Bowden said. "I need to look at him if I'm going to make that big of an investment.

"(Next year) I've got a new kicker and a new punter. Both of my kickers are gone. I don't know if I can go out and sign a guy in high school right now that can kick better than he can. I want to make sure I don't do that when there's a guy right here on campus."

Quick hits
Tailback C.J. Spiller is close to being 100 percent and practiced in full gear Thursday, while receiver Rendrick Taylor is still questionable for the bowl. Taylor practiced more than he previously has, but he was still held out of contact drills. He is listed as 85 percent.

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