OL Moves Highlight Evening Session

CLEMSON – All through spring practice and into the early part of fall camp, center Barry Humphries was head coach Tommy Bowden's biggest concern on the offensive line. That's no longer the case as several depth chart changes and position moves along the line took place Monday night.

In fact, offensive line coach Brad Scott said the redshirt sophomore and senior offensive tackle Barry Richardson have been the two that have been most consistent with their play. However, the same can't be said for the majority of the rest of the linemen.

Now, the starting right guard is redshirt sophomore Thomas Austin, who replaces redshirt senior Brandon Pilgrim, who was moved to starting left guard in place of redshirt senior Chris McDuffie.

The move of Pilgrim to the left guard is based on Austin's stellar play and the not so good player of McDuffie.

"Austin, after a slow start to camp, had a real good scrimmage and he played really well this (Monday) morning, so we just bumped him up for the afternoon practice," offensive line coach Brad Scott said. "So, I moved Pilgrim over to the left side. I wasn't that pleased with what I was getting over there on the left side."

The lack of solid play by McDuffie thus far has Bowden perplexed and disappointed.

"He's not playing up to his ability," Bowden said. "He's probably the most explosive offensive lineman we have, but he's not playing with that tenacity. He's the most talented lineman and he's not playing that way. You don't get a free pass."

However, that's not all with the moves as some of the top backup spots have been switched, too.

Redshirt freshman swing tackle Chris Hairston has moved ahead of redshirt sophomore Cory Lambert on the depth chart as the top backup and is now challenging redshirt senior Christian Capote for the starting right tackle spot. Hairston is the backup to Richardson at left tackle, too.

"We wanted to leave Chris Hairston over there to give Barry Richardson a spell occasionally, but it looks like right now that he might be one of the best we got," Bowden said. "So, we're going to go ahead and let him compete for the starting right tackle spot."

Scott said the play of has been severely lacking, too, with his inconsistent play and of attention to detail.

McDuffie is behind Pilgrim at left guard, while redshirt junior Bobby Hutchinson is now the backup center ahead of redshirt freshman Ben Ramsey. Hutchinson is also the fourth in the pecking order at guard.

"He's probably has as good of an understanding at center as any of them I've got," Scott said of Hutchinson. "I'll work him in the morning at guard and in the afternoon at center."

All these moves were something Scott believed needed to happen now rather than later.

"Experience in me says to fix the problems before the game and not after the game," he said. "That's my job. When I was a younger coach, I thought things would work themselves out. And then after the game, you end up fixing them and being mad at yourself because you saw it coming."

However, he is also quick to point out that things could just as easily change Tuesday.

"I'm not saying those are permanent moves, whatsoever," Scott said. "As of the 11th practice, that's the way they shape up. … We base it on each practice and we had some guys this morning that probably didn't play their best and didn't play as hard as they're capable of playing or as good. My job is to put the best players on the field, so we just moved some things around.

"I'm just advancing the guys that seem to be practicing the hardest and making the plays in practice."

WHO'S HOT: Sophomore bandit Kevin Alexander, who was moved to that position from linebacker just prior to the start of fall camp.

"I think he's going to be an exceptional player at that position," Bowden said. "He's pushing Ricky Sapp."

WHO'S NOT: Freshman linebacker Brandon Maye, who sustained a sprained ankle Saturday, is out four to six weeks. The good news is he doesn't need surgery.

QUICK HITS: Cornerback Byron Maxwell, who is competing for a starting job, returned to practice Monday night after missing the scrimmage Saturday due to a concussion. … Defensive tackle Rashaad Jackson didn't practice in either session Monday due to a sprained knee. … Miguel Chavis missed the afternoon practice with a hip flexor, while Antwon Murchison sustained a concussion in the morning practice and was held out of the evening session. …

Bowden said running back Ray Ray McElrathbey has looked good the last few days and has responded well to Sadat Chambers being moved to tailback. Bowden also said that Chambers continues to look good, too. … DeAndre McDaniel continues to play well as he had an interception Monday. … Bowden also cited the play of Marcus Gilchrist and Scottie Cooper for being exceptional.

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