Quick notes from the first part of Wednesday's practice


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First Day in Pads Photo Gallery
CLEMSON – The media were allowed to watch the first 30 minutes of practice on Wednesday, the first day in full pads.

And as exciting as that sounds, it was actually a lot of stretching and special teams drills, but there were some observations we were able to make.

*Number one, we were able to watch some of the punt return teams in action, and there was really no surprise at who lined up as returners. Nuk Hopkins and Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Wide Receiver
#7 6-2, 200
Fort Myers, FL

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formed one combo, Jaron BrownJaron Brown
Wide Receiver
#18 6-2, 200
Cheraw, SC

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and Charone PeakeCharone Peake
Wide Receiver
#19 6-4, 210
Moore, SC

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was another tandem and Mike BellamyMike Bellamy
Running Back
#5 5-10, 187
Nocatee, FL

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jumped in on returns as well. Hopkins looked way more comfortable fielding punts than he did last season, and Bellamy showed soft hands and a fearless nature when it came to taking the ball back up the field.

*On kickoff returns, it was Bellamy, Rod McDowell, Watkins, Peake and Martin JenkinsMartin Jenkins
Defensive Back
#27 5-10, 170
Roswell, GA

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.

*I know everyone is probably tired of hearing about new offensive coordinator Chad Morris, but he continues to impress me when I see him in a practice setting. The man coaches SOMETHING every play, and he is always giving his quarterbacks something they can work on.


The quarterbacks were working on throwing the ball into a basket in the corner of the end zone, throwing from the 15-yard line and then the 25-yard line. Morris worked on everything from the placement of the quarterback’s hips and shoulders on the fade, to where their eyes should be just before they release it.

*Loved watching the young wide receivers go through some of their drills, but I was also impressed with the veteran receivers, who sense the competition from the younger players and are showing maximum effort, even in the drills. Hopkins looked solid, as always, but Brown looked to me like he was running crisper routes and catching the ball out in front of his body.

*A lot of people have asked about linebacker Tony StewardTony Steward
Linebacker
#7 6-2, 225
Hastings, FL

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and how he looks, and they ask can he avoid a redshirt after having his knee surgically repaired in the off-season. After watching practice, it is simply too early to tell. I have yet to see him really go into a full sprint, but then again, we have been limited in what we see in practice.

More to come after practice.

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