JENKINS DROPPING THE POUNDS: One of the early surprises of preseason camp has been defensive tackle Jarvis Jenkins. Jenkins, who has seemingly positioned himself to see the field this season said Sunday he is currently practicing at 316 pounds, six pounds away from his ideal weight of 310 and 10 pounds lighter than what he was in July.
"I think I got a good chance to see the field. The veterans get their hands on me a lot, I've got to learn to get them off of me but I think I've done well so far," he said.
"Everybody on this team has a lot of talent. Coach Rumph is a good coach and he has us working harder than anybody. I really believe that."
ONE THING IS CLEAR: Tommy Bowden said before preseason camp started he expected as many as 10 freshmen to have a legitimate chance to see the field this season. While players like Willy Korn and DeAndre McDaniel were among those 10 and considered locks to play, wide Brandon Clear, a native of Hoover, Ala. wasn't. However, nine days into practice Clear has been making his case for early playing time.
"It's been a great experience for me so far but it's all about work," Clear said. "It pays off. I've been doing extra on everything, including studying the playbook, running routes, catching footballs. It's all about putting in the work."
Clear, who came to Clemson from one of the top high school programs in the country in Hoover, said playing at such a high profile school has helped him with transition to college.
"We had competition everyday. You always had to fight for your position on the field - you were never gauranteed to start. That helped me out a lot with mindset coming into Clemson.
"I really don't know if they are going to play me (this year). If I get redshirted it's not the end of the world but I'm here to play and I think I can do it."
Clear, along with his teammate and brother Byron, aside from adjusting to college life, has also had to adjust to his father being shipped overseas to Kuwait.
"I talk to him every night," he said. "He calls every night to check on me and brother and he talks to the coaching staff. He's fine. He's going to be back next year but if I get to play this year, I'm hoping he can catch my games on TV."
CHAVIS AT NOSE: One of the freshmen expected to compete for playing time this year is defensive lineman Miguel Chavis, who was moved to the inside early in camp.
"My whole life, I've played a lot of different positions, tight end, linebacker, d-end, nose guard," he said. "I'm used to playing d-end but right now I'm at nose guard. They moved me there early so that gave me a chance and I love it. That's where I feel most comfortable."
Weighing in at a stout 265 pounds, Chavis said he's counting down the days until the season opener against Florida State.
"I think it about it every day," he said. "I've waited my whole life for this, for Sept. 3rd. As a kid growing up I watched Clemson and Florida State so it's an honor. It's an honor to be a Clemson Tiger.
"Coach Bowden has talked about building a foundation and adding bricks to that foundation. Every player is a brick in that foundation. We are game planning for the game, but we are worried about ourselves because we don't want to be reactive. We want them to react to us. That's football."
ANOTHER FRESHMAN WR READY: Former Byrnes and Greenwood wide receiver Xavier Dye, along with Clear, is another true freshman who could see the field this season. Sunday Dye said he's been working on a number of things to show the staff he can handle playing in his first year in college.
"I'm just trying to show some consistency out there and show that I've really learned the offense," Dye said. "The coaches are looking for a complete receiver ... blocking, learning the offense and executing big plays. But everything with our playbook is so unique because we can line up and a defense thinks we are going to do one thing and we'll do something else."
With the season opener just three weeks away, Dye, like many of the other freshman who could see the field this year, said Sept. 3rd can't get here quick enough.
"Every time I ride by here I get chill bumps. Thinking about Florida State. Playing against Coach Bowden's dad. Thinking about how many people are going to be here. I can't wait."
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