Clemson Holds First Stadium Scrimmage

Cullen Harper threw for 170 yards and a touchdown and Jacoby Ford scored a pair of touchdowns to highlight play in a Clemson football scrimmage on Saturday morning at Death Valley.

It was the first of three major scrimmages in Clemson Memorial Stadium this spring for Tommy Bowden's Tigers. The team will hold another scrimmage next Saturday. Spring practice will culminate with the annual Spring Game on Saturday, April 14 at 1:00 PM.

Bowden's team scrimmaged for 92 snaps, not counting goal-line situations at the end of practice for nearly two hours in mild temperatures. Bowden is seeking a successor to 2006 starter Will Proctor and he was pleased with the performance of his signal callers and his offense in general. He was also pleased that the offense did not commit a turnover.

"We challenged the offensive line and I think they responded," said Bowden after the scrimmage. "We have to replace four starters in the line and everything on offense starts there. They played well today and it allowed our backs and receivers to make some plays.

"I was also pleased with the performance of the quarterbacks, James Davis and Ray Ray McElrathbey at running back, and Aaron Kelly continues to perform consistently at wide receiver.

"We continue to look for senior leadership across the entire team and some players are stepping up."

After practice, Clemson senior offensive lineman Barry Richardson addressed the team and announced that they had raised money for offensive lineman Jamarcus Grant.

Grant's family home in Mullins, SC burned last week and his family most of its possessions. Richardson presented Grant with the money and he was most appreciative. Grant missed playing in the scrimmage while recovering from burns he suffered in the fire.

Cullen Harper, number-one on the depth chart at quarterback, complete 13-21 passes for 170 yards and a touchdown to post the top stats among the quarterbacks. He threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Ford over the middle for one of the offense's five touchdowns on the day.

Junior Tribble Reese completed 5-6 passes for 29 yards and a touchdown, a 12-yard strike to senior receiver La'Donte Harris, who had three catches for 30 yards on the day.

Freshman Willy Korn completed 8-13 for 78 yards, including a 30-yard pass to classmate and former high school teammate Xavier Dye on his first attempt of the scrimmage. Freshman Michael Wade completed 2-9 for 20 yards. Wade has been limited in his effectiveness by a finger injury. Ray Ray McElrathbey was the top rusher on the day with 6-62, including a 36-yard scamper in the second half of the scrimmage. It was the first scrimmage at running back for the rising sophomore.

James Davis had 6-25 rushing, including a 12-yard scoring run. Ronald Watson, Jr, had 11-42 rushing and Paul Macko had 7-52 to highlight the play of the other running backs. Sophomore running back C.J. Spiller was excused from the scrimmage and will return to practice on Monday.

Ford caught three passes for 57 yards and a touchdown and also rushed for a touchdown on a six-yard run.

Tight end Jermaine Martin had four catches for 27 yards and a touchdown from walk-on quarterback Brandon Speweik, while Jeff Ogren had 4-29 receiving. Kelly had three receptions for 47 yards and Harris finished with 3-30 and a touchdown.

Defensively, Ricky Sapp had a strong scrimmage with three sacks for 15 yards. Nick Watkins, Bryan Baker and Philip Merling also had sacks. Defensive end Kwam Williams had two pass deflections and a blocked field goal attempt. Top Stories