Spiller Shines Wednesday

CLEMSON – While one star running back made the defense look foolish time and time again in spring football practice Wednesday, the other star running back has moved up his surgery date some two weeks and will go under the knife tomorrow.

C.J. Spiller had four touchdowns, including one from 70 yards and another from 40 yards, against the first-team defense. He added two more in goal line situations.

"We couldn't tackle him today," head coach Tommy Bowden said. "He scored just about every time he touched the ball. … If he gets to that second level, you can't catch him. And we sure couldn't today."

Even with the long runs, Bowden said it really had nothing to do with the play of the guys in the trenches.

"It's not necessarily the line," he said. "They just did a poor job of tackling."

Wednesday was just the continuation of a very good spring for Spiller, who has seen the two weakest aspects of his game improve greatly.

"The biggest thing he's done is improve his pass protection and his running from tackle to tackle has improved," Bowden said. "He's done an excellent job."

Meanwhile, James Davis, who was scheduled to undergo arthroscopic shoulder surgery the Monday following the spring game, will now have it Thursday. And that's just fine by him.

"Rehab went a lot quicker and the doctor said my shoulder looked good," he said. "To me, I think it's good news. I get to get back to normal quicker."

Davis said that he's not squeamish about being cut on.

"As long as they put me asleep, I really don't care," he said.

A BETTER HARPER: Rising senior quarterback Cullen Harper said this spring has been a lot more productive than last year when he was fighting Willy Korn for the starting job.

"Last year, I was coming in and trying to prove myself to the coaches, my teammates and the fans," he said. "This year is a different type of pressure because guys are looking to me to make plays in key situations and be a leader."

Not having to constantly look over his shoulder has allowed Harper to zero in on the tiny aspects of the offense and get a better grasp of it as a whole.

"This year I'm focusing in on the little things on offense like the progressions to the third and fourth receiver," he said. "It's more relaxed this year, but you always have to get out there with a sense of urgency. I want to be one of the top quarterbacks in the country and I just want to make sure I'm not complacent."

Harper believes he's a much better quarterback this spring and that's in part to the shoulder surgery he had before the Chick-fil-A Bowl, though he admitted that his arm was still really sore against Auburn and that he came back too soon.

"I'm making throws with more velocity and I think my accuracy is getting better," said Harper, who is being projected by some NFL scouting services as a first-round draft pick. "They went in there and cleaned up some stuff that had been in there since high school. I really feel strong."

QUICK HITS: Rising redshirt freshman cornerback Coty Sensabaugh continues to impress defensive coordinator Vic Koenning. In practice Wednesday, he had two interceptions, including one returned for a 65 yard touchdown. … True freshman Marquan Jones had a 60-yard touchdown reception. …

Center Thomas Austin missed practice with a hamstring pull, but is expected to play in Saturday's scrimmage. Rising redshirt senior defensive tackle Dorrel Scott missed practice with an elbow injury. He, too, is expected to play Saturday.

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