Thursday Football Practice Notebook

by - Correspondent -

CLEMSON - If Tommy Bowden seemed a bit nonchalant over running back James Davis leaving camp, it's because he's seen it all before.

Davis, the top recruit in Bowden's most recent freshman class, left Clemson Wednesday night and returned to his home in Atlanta. And while the rumor mill had Davis upset with the Tigers' offense, or perhaps a particular coach, Bowden shrugged off the speculation and chalked it up to something much less devious:


"There have been so many of them in the past," said Bowden. "It was the same thing with (former players) Bernard Rambert, Cedric Johnson and William Henry. Away from home for the first time, practice is a little tougher, a little louder...It happens in this arena all the time."

Davis, who had been seeing time with the second team offense, reportedly met with both Bowden and running backs coach Burton Burns Wednesday afternoon, but decided to leave camp anyway. Broadcast reports had Davis on his way back to Clemson Thursday evening, and Bowden confirmed that he expected the talented youngster back at practice Friday.

While downplaying the incident ("We had other guys out today, too. And they're all coming back."), Bowden couldn't resist a chance to joke about a similar incident early in his Clemson career.

"Bernard (Rambert) came in one night and asked for his keys, and said he wanted to go to 7-11," he said. "And he went to 7-11. In Sumter."

Starting defensive end Charles Bennett also missed Thursday's practice because of a death in the family. Defensive tackle Dorrell Scott was also out again Thursday, having missed much of the week due to personal issues.

Both are expected to return on Friday, as well.

Meanwhile, redshirt freshman offensive tackle Zach Green will have to miss the upcoming season because of an abdominal ailment. He expects to return next season.

- Both Fry boys - center Dustin and guard Roman - both made it through both Thursday practices. Each is nursing a tender hamstring;

- Linebacker Anthony Waters, who had been out with turf toe, also returned Thursday;

- On the injury front, backup right tackle Christian Capote (knee) and wide receiver Kelvin Grant (shoulder) missed both workouts. Defensive lineman Cory Groover injured his shoulder in the morning practice and missed the afternoon session;

- Capote's injury has allowed freshman Corey Lambert more reps at backup right tackle, and Lambert has responded. Bowden said Lambert has made such significant strides that he's now pushing incumbent Marion Dukes for the starting position.

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