Offseason Workouts Notebook

CLEMSON - The new team motto, news and notes on several freshmen and other opinions and observations are posted in this in-depth report.

2008 TEAM MOTTO: While last year's team motto "Finish the Job" came up just short in terms of winning the ACC, the Tigers are hoping this year a new slogan will help get them over the proverbial conference championship hump.

Senior running back James Davis revealed to Monday afternoon this year's motto will be, "Let's get it!" [in reference to an ACC Championship and possibly even more].

As you would expect, each time Davis huddled with his teammates, they all shouted it out when heading to the next conditioning drill.

Clemson has not won an ACC Championship since 1991.

FRESHMEN THINKING BIG: Monday was the first time the freshmen class was made available to talk with the media since they arrived on campus almost two weeks ago, but many of the first-year players all spoke of two things - winning an ACC Championship and a National Championship.

"Those are the goal around here," freshman RB Andre Ellington said. "There's a lot of talent out here with the guys coming back plus with the recruiting class coming in and I can see why. We are expecting to win the ACC this year and get into the BCS."

Ellington's new partner in crime in the Clemson backfield, Jamie Harper, agreed.

"We've been so close to winning the ACC the last couple of years," he said. "It's just really come down to three or four plays here or there. The expectations here are a wonderful gift."

HARPER SHARP AS EVER: For anybody thinking Cullen Harper could be bound for a sophomore slump in his second full year as a starting quarterback, think again.

Harper has looked as smooth Monday as he ever has and has also gained a tremendous amount of confidence since setting 22 school records a year ago.

During Monday's 7-on-7 drills, Harper connected with tight end Michael Palmer on several passes going across the middle with nearly every completion thrown on a rope in heavy traffic. He also displayed good touch on his deep passes and seemed to know exactly where he was going with the football in all situations.

MORE 7-ON-7 HIGHLIGHTS: Junior tight end Durrell Barry, who is easily one of the more animated players on the team, burned linebacker Scotty Cooper on a fly pattern but the ball was thrown out of the end zone. Cooper, who was not wearing a shirt at the time, slid about five yards after diving for the football on the synthetic turf. Ouch. Barry still let him know he was toast after the play.

Tyler Grisham matched up with Haydrian Lewis one-on-one and ran a quick curl route to perfection but the ball was thrown about five feet behind him. Still, he reached back and nearly brought in a bullet that was practically uncatchable. Lewis said afterwards, "You would have looked too pretty catching a pass like that." Lewis, who tore up his knee last year in the Georgia Tech game, appeared to moving around well Monday.

One of the plays that prompted the loudest reaction Monday was a quick pass to Michael Palmer in the seam. Cullen Harper threaded a perfectly thrown ball to Palmer in high traffic with DeAndre McDaniel closing in fast from the opposite direction. Palmer brought in the pass but knew he would have been drilled by McDaniel coming across the middle considering how close the two were. However with no pads on there was no collision.

Aaron Kelly took sophomore corner Marcus Gilchrist to school on a perfect 10-yard out pattern. Gilchrist was in position but bit on a last second fake prompting Chris Clemons to tell him, "Son you are too quick for your own good."

Sophomore receiver Xavier Dye caught everything in sight Monday, but dropped an easily catchable touchdown pass on a post-corner pattern in one-on-one drills. While looking back, he let the ball slip right through his hands as he crossed the goal line. A smiling Crezdon Butler told him to drop and give him 40 pushups.

QUICK HITS: Clemson has received a transfer from East Carolina, WR Kyle Johnson (6-2,215). Johnson graduated from ECU in three years and will be eligible to play in 2008 and 2009. ... Freshman QB Jon Richt, son of Georgia head coach Mark Richt said he was on campus for the first summer session but came down with a bad case of mono. He also said his dad will be on hand for his first game against Alabama on Aug. 30. ... An informal poll conducted by in regards to the biggest adjustment to college life for incoming freshmen class usually came back to one thing - waking up early/time management. "Waking up in the morning on my own … it's hard," Jamie Harper said. ... Jacoby Ford interviewed C.J. Spiller for Fox after Monday's workouts concluded. … The NFL Network is expected to be on campus within the next week to do a story on the upcoming season for the Tigers. ESPN's College Football Live will also on campus in the coming weeks as well, according to Sports Information Director Tim Bourret. Top Stories