Running backs coach Andre Powell wouldn't comment on who's the leader for the third running back spot, but he did leave it open for interpretation.
"I'm not going to say who the lockdown third guy is. I'll say this: the first two guys are performing really well. And Roderick McDowell is just running and executing so much better than he did in the spring. He looks like the guy we recruited him to be."
Powell said freshman Demont Buice and D.J. Howard are coming along.
"They're a little confused. Sometimes it's hard to tell a player that's confused from a player that's scared. I certainly don't think they're scared. It's a lot to process, so they're playing slow. But they're talented."
Talking to the quarterback
Kyle Parker will be throwing a lot to Dwayne Allen this fall. He talked about the other tight ends that don't wear No. 83.
"Darrell (Smith) was just moved over there recently. He's still learning. Vic (Beasley) played running back in high school, he's a tremendous athlete. It's going to take time for those guys to adjust. They're getting better every day. They're working hard. You can't ask for too much more than that."
Buice and Howard were rudely introduced to college football during the paw drills (Oklahoma drill).
Wide receiver Brandon Clear was the recipient of a DeAndre McDaniel punishment over the middle.
"He made great effort on the ball, kind of reached back and that number two that kind of roams around back there got a nice, clean hit on him. He got his bell rung a little bit," Swinney said.
First-team All-American strong safety DeAndre McDaniel looked back to the first week of practice after Saturday's session.
"I feel good. Every time I come out onto the field I feel good. We had an average day. There's still a lot to improve. We've got a lot of time before the first game to get ready," he said.
None of the bumps sounded serious. Swinney didn't mention any serious injuries after the first day of full pads.
"I think we're alright," he said.
Jarvis Jenkins was the only player in a yellow jersey on Saturday. He suffered a mild concussion on Friday and should return on Monday.
Offensive tackles/tight ends coach Danny Pearman talked about the tackles, including the three that split reps with the first team.
"Brandon's doing OK. He got some work today…David Smith worked out there today. I've been really impressed with Phillip Price. He's come back in good shape. He worked both the right and left-side today. Landon Walker came back in the best shape he's been in."
Clear's father speaks to team
Clear's father, who's a colonel in the Army, flew for three days from Afghanistan to see Byron, a former Clemson defensive end, graduate on Saturday.
Col. Clear also spoke to the team.
"He made it in just in time, at 10 o'clock. Graduation was at 11. He's got to fly right back out Sunday. He did a great job speaking to the team today," Swinney said. "I think he gave them a real good perspective on what real heat's all about."
"He's doing what we've asked, so far," Pearman said. "He just needs to keep coming."
The staff is confident Thomas will continue improving as he works into a reserve role at left tackle.
"Obviously he hasn't played in a game. The scrimmage will be really important for him in fall camp. That's the closes we'll come to simulating a game without putting in a crowd," Pearman said. "Then you'll have to watch him perform—perform when you put the ball down and get out of the way.
"That's where he's got to build. From an individual drill, to a group drill, to a team setting and then on to a scrimmage and onto a game. He just has to keep building. I'm pleased with him—not discouraged at all."
Hall of Fame connections
From the university sports information department: Clemson defensive line coach Dan Brooks recruited Emmitt Smith to the University of Florida and was invited to attend Smith's Hall of Fame induction in Canton, Ohio this weekend, but declined the invitation so he would not miss practice on Friday and Saturday.
Former Clemson coach Whitey Jordan, who helps at Clemson practices as an official, was at the Hall of Fame ceremonies and missed practice Friday and Saturday. Jordan coached Smith at the University of Florida.