Spring Practice Insider

The Tigers took the field in Death Valley Saturday afternoon for their first scrimmage of spring. Several newcomers really stood out, find out who in this extensive report!

Duane Coleman spent most of the day with the 2nd and 3rd team offense, but when he did get the chance to showcase his ability- he did. In fact, he scored the first touchdown of the afternoon on a short scamper from about 7 yards out while playing with the first team.

Everything you've heard about Coleman is true- he is very elusive, but he's also very smooth. To say that it's going to be hard to keep him off the field would be an understatement.

Coleman had a strong day, catching a couple of balls out of the backfield, and also working his way for extra yardage whenever the opportunity presented itself. The first defender to reach Coleman nevers brings him down. He'll use a little slide step to avoid contact, or just run right by him. It goes without saying that he's going to be an exciting player to watch for the next four years.

Will Proctor didn't really have a good day. He missed a wide-open receiver in the back of the endzone and he also had trouble handling the snap from center. At one point, he actually fumbled on consecutive plays.

Gerald McCloud is starting to make a name for himself in the secondary. The Jacksonville native came down with an interception off of a deflection and just seems to have a "nose" for the football.

Kelvin Grant still looks great and once again he was the best receiver on the field. He caught a horribly under thrown ball from Chansi Stuckey for the longest pass play of the afternoon (45+ yards) and he didn't drop anything that was sent in his direction. His route running is also incredibly precise.

The second team offensive line seems to be improving. Roman Fry saw time at left tackle, Nathan Bennett at guard, and Dustin Fry at center. There doesn't seem to be much of a drop off between the first and second team.

The Tigers are lining up about 75% of the time in a "quick huddle." The entire teams lines up only a yard or two off the line of scrimmage, the quarterback calls the play and then they break out.

Aaron Hunt had a dismal day, hitting a 50-yard field goal about 15-yards short, and barely making another one from about 35-yards out. He did rebound to make most of his kicks towards the end of the scrimmage.

Anthony Waters clearly has the most potential out of all the linebackers. He had one bone-crushing hit on Kyle Browning and he seems to being playing inspired football. He's aggressive in his pursuit and the other guys on defense seem to respond when he starts making plays.

Former Union running back Kyle Browning spent a lot Saturday afternoon with the 2nd team, and he responded with several carries of over 10 yards. Surprisingly, the bulk of those carries came between the tackles.

There was a heavy emphasis on the running game today- especially short yardage and goal line situations. The overall play of the offensive line and the running backs has improved, but there were several occasions when the offense would fail to convert on 3rd-and-short. Justin Miller had one of the nastiest hits of the day when he blitzed and drilled Yusef Kelly in the backfield for a 5-yard loss. Backup fullback Cliff Harrell missed a crucial block on that play.

Willie Simmons is making better decisions with the football. He had a productive day, but he did miss Airese Currie on a long pass play down the middle of the field. Currie blew past Tye Hill and was wide open in the endzone, but Simmons didn't quite put enough air under the ball to give Currie the opportunity for the reception.

Linebackers coach David Blackwell is clearly the most animated coach on the sidelines. There's little doubt that his hiring was one of the best decisions made by Tommy Bowden since his arrival to Clemson in December of 1998.

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