Clemson, SC—On the seventh day, the Clemson football team certainly did not rest. It was the first day of two-a-day practices for Tommy Bowden’s Tigers, who started preseason practice seven days ago. Clemson worked for two and a half hours in the morning and two hours in the evening as the Tigers prepare for the season opener against Alabama on August 30.
Clemson will practice just once on Friday and then have a scrimmage that will be closed to the public on Saturday morning. The team will have its annual Fan Appreciation Day on Sunday, then have two practices on Monday.
“I am more of a fan of the one-a-day practice because you have more time to evaluate the previous practice and make corrections,” said Bowden. “We really didn’t have much time to study what we did this morning. We are scheduled to have just five two-a-day practices this month.”
Bowden was pleased with his defense and his freshman class on Thursday. “Jamie Cumbie stood out today. He has made a good adjustment from defensive end to defensive tackle. That is not an easy adjustment because he is so tall. He was used to playing out in space at end, but he has learned to player lower at tackle. I wouldn’t say he has been a surprise, because we knew he was a good player, but he is playing well.
“We couldn’t block Ricky Sapp this evening. We had a red zone passing drill and we just about had to take him out, we just couldn’t get anything done on offense when he was in there.
“I have been saying that we would play eight freshmen this year, but it could be as many as last year when we played 11. That was the most since I have been here, but we might break that this year. I have been pleased with the class. Dwayne Allen made some very good catches at tight end today and Jonathan Willard continues to play well at linebacker.”
Clemson was in full pads for the morning practice and in shells (helmets and shoulder pads) in the afternoon workout. The temperature reached near 95 degrees in the morning, but much cooler conditions prevailed in the evening. The Tigers had a conditioning run after Wednesday’s one practice, but did not have any conditioning runs on Thursday. Clemson will not have the conditioning run during two-a-days. Forty periods of practice will be enough for one day.
Jacoby Ford returned to full speed on Thursday morning. The junior from Royal Palm Beach, FL missed the last two days with a slight ankle injury, but he was full speed on Thursday for both practices. It was not the ankle he broke last year at Maryland.
Starting offensive tackle Chris Hairston and reserve defensive end Rennie Moore were the only newcomers to the injury list. Both players missed both practices with hamstring injuries.
Offensive tackle David Smith moved to a green jersey for the afternoon practice. He has been limited by a dislocated toe injury that he suffered three weeks ago. Michael Palmer, Clemson’s starting tight end, missed both practices with a pulled hamstring. Xavier Dye continues to be limited by a shoulder injury.