Bowers' loss weighing heavily

CLEMSON - Clemson has three two-a-day practice days set for the preseason schedule.

The first day of the three took place Monday. The Tigers worked between 9:30 AM and 12:15 PM and are scheduled to work from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM in shorts for a walk-through Monday night.

The Tigers were without one of their top players on Monday. Junior defensive end Da'Quan Bowers missed all of Monday and likely will miss most of this week's practices after his father died suddenly on Sunday morning.

Bowers was very close to his father, Dennis Bowers, as the father and son performed together in Dennis Bowers Gospel Band, "the Legendary Singing Stars." They had performed together as recently as August 1 at a church in Hopkins, SC.

"This is a difficult situation," said Clemson Football Coach Dabo Swinney, who flew to Bamberg Sunday night to be with Da'Quan and his family. "He was very close to his dad. They had a wonderful relationship. It is always tough to lose a parent, but at age 20 to lose your father, that is very difficult.

"We have players on this team who have gone through this and they are reaching out to Da'Quan. He has an extended family here that will help him. He will have a lot of people here he can lean on."

Swinney said funeral arrangements had not been made and it is was not known how long Bowers would be away from campus.

The Tigers will practice Monday evening for about an hour, then hold the first scrimmage of the preseason on Tuesday morning. It is closed to the public and the media. There will be highlights of the scrimmage on on Tuesday afternoon.

"I am anxious to see the scrimmage. It will be the first indication of who is ready to step forward. We have a lot of areas where players can make a move to gain playing time. It is one thing to practice on the practice fields and another thing to perform in Death Valley."

Swinney was asked about the progress of the secondary so far this August.

"The secondary should be strong this year. I have been pleased with what I have seen in Marcus Gilchrist and Byron Maxwell. Gilchrist might be our best all-around defensive player from an assignment standpoint. Maxwell has transformed himself into a very good cornerback.

"DeAndre McDaniel had a terrific season last year and we expect that again this year. People should not be disappointed if his interception total is not as high as last year. Don't think he is having an off year if he only gets four interceptions. If I were an opposing offensive coordinator I would not throw the ball near him."

At the conclusion of practice on Monday morning, Swinney introduced former Clemson All-ACC center Jeff Bostic, who was in town to watch practice and visit with former teammate Jeff Davis. Bostic was a 14-year NFL veteran with the Washington Redskins. He played on more Super Championship teams than any other former Clemson football player. His Washington Redskins teams won Super Bowls after the 1982, 1987 and 1991 seasons. Top Stories