Massive Thursday Notebook

CLEMSON - CUTigers.com checks in with several players involved in position battles, including Scotty Cooper, Spencer Adams and Mason Cloy.

FIRST-TEAM SAM: One of the more intense battles throughout preseason camp has been at the SAM linebacker spot where a pair of sophomores have been trying to secure the starting position.

As things stand right now, if Clemson played Alabama tonight, Scotty Cooper would be the starter over DeAndre McDaniel.

"Right now I'm running with the ones with everything," Cooper told CUTigers.com. "DeAndre is a great player and we are doing a good job rotating. If he goes down I'll be ready, if I go he'll be ready.

"Right now I'm working with the ones and we alternate sometimes and both of us are confident and doing whatever we can to help our team."

McDaniel spent his freshman year as a reserve safety while Cooper saw extensive action as a SAM. He ended his freshman year with 33 tackles in 183 snaps, including one for loss.

He also started the last game of the season against Auburn in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl.

ADAMS TO REDSHIRT: Scout.com's No. 11 safety in the class of 2008, Spencer Adams, found out Thursday he is going to redshirt his freshman year.

"Coach Vic told me. He was straight up with me. I think it was a good decision based on my size," Adams said. "Coach Vic knows what he's doing and has been doing it longer than I've been player."

With Adams redshirting and given Clemson's lack of depth at safety, freshman Rashard Hall will likely see the field this season.

"With Rashard, he's bigger than me so he's better equipped to handle the run and he's got good speed," he said. "I have no animosity towards Rashard whatsoever. It is what it is. I'm just going to take advantage of this year.

With the news coming out that freshman safety Spencer Adams will redshirt, fellow freshman Rashard Hall appears to have positioned himself for playing time this season.
"I'm fine. I'm disappointed but I'm just going to take advantage of it. All of the great DBs that are going into the league have redshirted. Look at Mike Hamlin- he redshirted. I'll do what they did and hopefully get better."

Adams is the fastest defensive back on Clemson's roster and won several national events in track and field this year, but he reported to camp at only 180 pounds.

"I will be working hard in the weight room and I'll be ready when I get the chance to get out there," he said.

Meanwhile Hall told CUTigers.com after practice the only thing he's been told so far regarding playing as a true freshman is that he will be on the traveling squad this season.

The Tigers have plenty of talent returning at both the starting cat and free safety positions in Mike Hamlin and Chris Clemons, but no proven commodities to serve as their back-ups.

Tommy Bowden mentioned Sadat Chambers after practice, but then said he had leveled off with his play in recent weeks.

"Sadat made a push but has kind of leveled off and that has concerned us," he said. "Then you are talking about a true freshman back there. Then you have a lot of calls. Both of those guys have been injured before. So it's definitely a concern."

CLOY BACK IN ACTION SOON: Redshirt freshman Mason Cloy, Clemson's utility man on the offensive line, has been penciled in as a reserve at several positions entering next week's season opener against Alabama.

However a knee injury suffered during Saturday's scrimmage has limited his practice time this week.

"It was kind of like a sprained MCL, somebody just fell on it [in the scrimmage]," Cloy told CUTigers.com. "It's getting better though. I just ran out there today. That's pretty much it, but I was cutting and stuff and it didn't really bother me."

When asked if he was going to be full strength by early next week, Cloy responded, "Oh yes."

Cloy has been practicing as a right guard, left guard and backup center behind Thomas Austin and could play all three positions this coming season.

"It's a lot to handle but Jamarcus [Grant] and Barry [Humphries] and Thomas [Austin] have really helped me with everything so it's been fine," he said.

QUICK HITS: ESPN GameDay was in Clemson Wednesday to film a piece on James Davis and C.J. Spiller that will air the day of the Clemson-Alabama game. ... Freshman running back Jamie Harper, who has been held out of practice since Saturday after spraining his ankle, participated in conditioning drills Thursday and appeared to be walking around with less pain than earlier in the week. ... Strong side end Kevin Alexander said he expects to be back at full strength by Monday after missing this entire week due to a virus. ... A scout from the New England Patriots was on hand to watch practice Thursday.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Those defensive linemen we got- we are just going to play behind them and let them do all the dirty work and us linebackers do the job behind them. That's the thing … we've got all our guys back in the secondary and with the line we have, those guys are going to make us look good." - Scotty Cooper.

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