It was the fifth straight day of practice for Dabo Swinney's Tigers, who are preparing for the season opener against North Texas on September 4.
The Tigers worked for over two-and-a-half hours in high 80s
temperatures, but the weather was not as humid as it had been earlier in
the week. The team will have Sunday off, then have its first day of
two-a-day practices on Monday with the first scrimmage slated for
Three players were missing from the practice on Saturday. Chris Hairston, Daniel Barnes and Byron Maxwell all missed the day due to
their graduation from Clemson.
"The graduation was in the morning,
but I always give graduates the complete day off," said Swinney, who
will have six graduates on his roster this fall. "They deserve to have
that entire day with their families. I am proud of them."
With Hairston and Maxwell out, it gave an opportunity to some other
players. David Smith and Philip Price got more time at left tackle in
Hairston's absence, while Xavier Brewer got more playing time at
cornerback in place of Maxwell.
"I was really encouraged by what I saw
from Price," said Swinney after practice. " He worked with the ones at
times and I was encouraged."
Swinney was please with the team's overall performance on Saturday and
for the first week. "We are where we need to be, we are on schedule. We
still have a lot of work to do, but I have been pleased with what I have
seen so far. I have seen energy on both sides of the ball.
"We got a little sloppy at the end today, but they pushed through for
the majority of the day. We do need to finish plays on offense.
Defensively, we gave up a couple of 50 yard plays where the back was
untouched. We have to learn to make the stop and live for another play
in the redzone."
One of the players who made a 50-yard run was Roderick McDowell, a
red-shirt freshman from Sumter. "Rod kind of tip-toed during the spring
at times, but he ran like a running back today. He has made progress
this first week."
Swinney was also pleased with the performance of the tight ends. "We
knew what we had in Dwayne Allen and Chad Diehl, but I have been
impressed with Darrell Smith, Drew Traylor and Kasey Nobles so far.
They are making progress."
At the conclusion of practice, Swinney introduced the father of wide
receiver Brandon Clear, who was in town to see his son Byron graduate.
Byron, Brandon's twin, was a member of the Clemson football team the
last three years and graduated magna cum laude in just three years on
Saturday. Colonel Clear is in the United States Army and made the
long trip back from Afghanistan for Byron's graduation.
"Colonel Clear spoke to the team and had a great message. He spoke
about what true heat is and the importance of hard work. He gave the
team a different perspective. It was great to have him here."
Moving on to week two
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