All about change

CLEMSON - Dabo Swinney's crusade to change the way of thinking inside the Clemson football program continued during Monday's first practice of the spring.

In his first spring as a head coach, Swinney dropped the terms first, second and third team, and introduced new ones.

"We don't use those terms around here anymore," he said. "It's the attack defense, the swarm defense and the pride defense. It's the orange offense, the purple offense and the pride offense. That's how we go.

"Guys are taking reps with all the units and I'm trying to give guys opportunities and create competition."

Whatever he did, it seemed to work. Swinney said it was apparent the tempo was better than it was last year and that guys were bouncing around pretty good.

"We will be the attack defense, the swarm defense and the pride defense as long as I'm here," he said. "You tell a guy that he is a two or three long enough, eventually he starts to believe he is a two or three.

"We are just doing away with that and hopefully we just have a bunch of good football players and we can just roll units out there and keep on playing.

"We will not use those terms anymore. Which unit we start? We will see on game day. It might be the swarm unit. It might be the attack?"

One unit that will have a designated starter, he thinks, is at quarterback. Swinney said Willy Korn, Kyle Parker and Michael Wade all looked good working out with all three units during the first practice.

The only real note on the quarterback situation on Day 1 was the announcement that redshirt freshman Jon Richt has decided to transfer to a smaller school.

"I tried to talk him out of it, but he is going about it for all the right reasons," Swinney said. "He feels that a smaller school would be a better situation for him."

Swinney says he and Richt talked about two or three options on where he might transfer, but right now he doesn't know where the son of Georgia head coach Mark Richt will end up.

Richt's departure will leave Clemson with just three quarterbacks this spring, but not to worry, one is on his way for the fall and he was at practice Monday. Tajh Boyd, who signed with Clemson last month, was watching practice from the sideline.

He had just moved to Seneca on Sunday, where his little brother, T.J. Boyd, will play high school football next year.

"Maybe we can figure out how to slip him in," Swinney joked. "Right now we do not have one. Obviously, we have Tajh coming in and we have another, walk-on kid, who is pretty good too, coming in this fall so by the fall we will have it pretty sured up by the then."

Swinney says Boyd's presence at practice was big for his personal growth as a quarterback.

"That's big," he said. "They sit in meetings and they come out. Any time that they are here, it is just part of the learning curve getting shortened. The mind is a sponge, it starts absorbing stuff and sooner or later it starts to sort out a little bit easier for them when they do get here for real this summer."

As for his thoughts on the three quarterbacks he currently has in camp.

"I was pleased with all three of them," Swinney said. "They all did a good job in spots and they all did a poor job in spots, but all-in-all it was a good first day."

It was a good first day for everybody it seemed. "I thought it was a good start," Swinney said.

Open practice: Clemson's 7 p.m. practice Tuesday will be open to the public as will Wednesday's 2 p.m. practice. All practices after that are closed to the public.

CUTigers.com Top Stories