Friday Spring Practice Notebook

CLEMSON – When the Clemson football team takes to the field at Memorial Stadium Saturday morning for its second scrimmage, head coach Tommy Bowden hopes he sees the exact opposite of what took place last week.

"I would like to see the defense control the scrimmage tomorrow," he said. "I'd like to see a little more consistency out of the defense. From the offense, you'd like to see big plays and the quarterbacks make the right decision and move the ball down the field."

Bowden also said one thing he'll be paying special attention to is the battle at quarterback between Cullen Harper, Willy Korn, Tribble Reese and Michael Wade.

"You're anxious to see the quarterbacks again," he said. "You've got to see if there's any kind of separation there."

The only players not playing Saturday will be tight end Dorrell Scott, who has a bad disk in his lower back, and offensive guard Brandon Pilgrim, who is out for the spring with a dislocated elbow.

Friday's practice highlights
The team wore shorts Friday, so there's wasn't much hitting. Defensive back Byron Maxwell had another interception Friday, to go along with the one he returned for a 100-yard touchdown Wednesday.

"He would be a guy that kind of stood out a little bit," Bowden said.

Also making noise for the second straight practice is defensive tackle Rashaad Jackson, who made an interception off of a tipped ball.

"He's done real good," Bowden said. "He's probably been our most consistent defensive lineman, along with Phillip Merling. Rashaad has done a really, really good job."

Offensive lineman surprise
One player that Bowden didn't expect to make much of a splash this spring was offensive tackle Chris Hairston.

But the freshman has definitely made a move and has caught the eye of Bowden.

"I'd say the guy that's making the move at tackle is Chris Hairston," he said. "He's kind of making the move behind (Christian) Capote right now. Cory (Lambert) is doing good, but he needs to pick it up just a little bit. Cory needs consistency and toughness."

What makes Hairston a unique story is the fact that he came to Clemson as a 16-year-old and is now only 17.

He wasn't heavily recruited out of high school, but there was something about him the coaches liked when they saw him play in an all-star game.

"We saw something in the Shrine Bowl that we really liked as far as his movement," Bowden said. "He really, really moves well with quickness in his feet and flexibility in his body. He's been pretty consistent for a freshman."

Hairston is playing mostly at left tackle, but Bowden said he could very easily be moved to right tackle in August.

Spiller likes two-back system
Rising sophomore tailback C.J. Spiller said the new two-back system installed into the offense really is something special and will cause havoc with opposing defenses.

"It's starting to be really, really good," he said. "Me and James (Davis) are on the field together and we can both really make some mismatches on defense."

The hardest part so far has been trying to pick up the blocking schemes. He had Davis block for each other on running plays, as well as picking up blitzing linebackers and defensive backs.

"We're just trying to be a little more physical with our hands instead of using our shoulders, which could really injure us," Spiller said. "That's the main thing that Coach (Andre) Powell has been demanding is that we be more physical with our hands and to know where the blitzes are coming from."

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