Spring Practice: Time To Impress Coaches Slipping Away

by - Correspondent -

CLEMSON - Tommy Bowden had a message for those members of his football team fighting for spots on this fall's depth chart:

If you haven't made an impression yet this spring, don't count on doing so in Saturday's Orange-White Game at Death Valley.

The spring game, as usual, will consist of a considerably scaled down version of the Clemson offensive and defensive playbooks. Basic looks, basic calls and more time for reserves than starters will be the order of the day.

Other live scrimmages this spring, such as Monday's session in the stadium or even Wednesday's work at the Jervey practice fields, will tell the tale for those battling to win positions.

"Today's tape would be the last time" to make a real impression, Bowden said after Wednesday's practice. "If a guy hasn't had a good 15 practices, he's not going to overly impress in the spring game.

"If he hasn't made an impression by now, then it's time to start looking at freshmen in the fall. And that's what we tell them. They'd better work hard and practice hard, because if they don't there will someone coming here in the fall to try and take their job."

Bowden said the format for Saturday's spring game has been set, the teams have been divided, and he plans to try and make it as interesting as possible for fans.

All aspects of the game will be done at live speed, with the possible exception of punt protection and returns.

"With the team divided, it's just too much to do," he said.

Bowden also reiterated his stance that college football would benefit from allowing teams to scrimmage each other in the spring instead of settling for an intersquad spring game.

"Can you imagine us traveling down to Georgia and playing them? There'd be 90,000 people there. Then the next year they come up here," he said. "As long as it's not somebody on your schedule the coming season, it would benefit both sides.

"It would be a great money-making scheme. You give the money to the Olympic sports, or to charity. Give it to somebody. Why the NCAA doesn't look into it I'll never know."

Then, acknowledging a remark made by a reporter, Bowden laughed and pointed a finger.

"MTMS," he said. "Makes too much sense."

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