Spring Practice

by - Radio Host -

Spring Practice

The first day of spring practice took place at Clemson yesterday and it’s historically a pretty eventful day.  This one was probably more so because of the three-player race at quarterback to replace Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
Quarterback (2009 - 2013)
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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The first day of spring practice, the spring game, the first day of fall practice and the first day in pads are about the only times we get to see the Tigers outside of games anymore.   Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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closes practices except for those rare occasions where the media gets to watch about 30 minutes on those first days.

Two other disclaimers are appropriate.  It is a who's who on the sidelines, so you spend a lot of time speaking to people and trying to carry on a decent conversation while actually watching practice.  Yesterday I had nice conservations with several observers, like the two winningest quarterbacks in Clemson history: Boyd and Rodney Williams.  Most of my time was spent picking the brain of Clemson Assistant AD Woody McCorvey about a bunch of topics in the game today.  The other time was spent sharing ideas with TigerIllustrated.com's Larry Williams.

The other disclaimer is that much of the time we get a chance to get out there is spent on stretching, walk throughs and special teams.  We do get to see some drill work but that is limited.  We also must note that the practice is in shorts and no pads.

With that said, here are a few of my observations from the first day of spring practice:

*The first team offensive line consisted of Isaiah BattleIsaiah Battle
Jr. Offensive Tackle
#79 6-6, 280
Brooklyn, NY

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, Eric MacLain, Ryan NortonRyan Norton
RS Jr. Offensive Line
#58 6-3, 270
Simpsonville, SC

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, Kalon DavisKalon Davis
RS Sr. Offensive Guard
#67 6-5, 330
Chester, SC

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and Shaq AnthonyShaq Anthony
RS Jr. Offensive Tackle
#76 6-3, 265
Williamston, SC

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*The second offensive line consisted of Joe GoreJoe Gore
RS Jr. Offensive Tackle
#73 6-4, 275
Lake Waccamaw, NC

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, David BeasleyDavid Beasley
RS Sr. Offensive Guard
#68 6-4, 315
Columbus, GA

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, Jay GuillermoJay Guillermo
RS So. Center
#57 6-2, 290
Maryville, TN

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, Reid WebsterReid Webster
RS Sr. Offensive Tackle
#77 6-4, 285
Woodstock, GA

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and Maverick MorrisMaverick Morris
RS Fr. Offensive Line
#69 6-4, 285
Broxton, GA

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*The first running back was D.J. HowardD.J. Howard
RS Sr. Running Back
#22 5-11, 195
Lincoln, AL

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.   Zac BrooksZac Brooks
Jr. Running Back
#24 6-1, 185
Jonesboro, AR

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ran with the second team.

*The receivers looked totally different.   Charone PeakeCharone Peake
RS Jr. Wide Receiver
#19 6-3, 200
Moore, SC

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was dressed but did not participate in most drills.   Mike WilliamsMike Williams
So. Wide Receiver
#7 6-5, 205
Vance, SC

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is the biggest receiver by far.   Germone HopperGermone Hopper
RS So. Wide Receiver
#5 6-0, 170
Charlotte, NC

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and Adam HumphriesAdam Humphries
Sr. Wide Receiver
#13 5-11, 190
Spartanburg, SC

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ran with the first team and neither were big receivers.  The newcomers looked about like I was expecting.   Artavis ScottArtavis Scott
Fr. Wide Receiver
#3 5-11, 180
Tarpon Springs, FL

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looked quick and explosive in his routes.  He caught the ball well.   Demarre KittDemarre Kitt
Fr. Wide Receiver
#8 6-1, 195
Tyrone, GA

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and Kyrin PriesterKyrin Priester
Fr. Wide Receiver
#17 6-2, 190
Lilburn, GA

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looked very close in size and style.  I thought Scott looked like the best open field runner of the bunch.

*Several years ago I remember walking out to practice and noticing how big and physical this team looked.  That was the case again but I guess I had gotten used to that.  No one looked really out of shape but no one other than Kalon Davis looked any different.  I guess that is a compliment because that is what I expected to see.  A good friend Duncan McLaurin, who played at Clemson and is now the tight ends coach at Campbell College, talked about how much better this team looks than the ones he saw a couple of seasons ago.  He raved about their conditioning but that is something I guess I had gotten used to.

*Finally, I know everyone wants to know about the quarterback battle.  Let's be honest, this battle was not won or lost yesterday.  It will be decided until many practices down the road.  However, I will say that I was impressed with all three players.   Cole StoudtCole Stoudt
Sr. Quarterback
#18 6-4, 205
Dublin, OH

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has improved his arm strength.  This time last year there was an obvious difference between his arm strength and the arm strength of Boyd and Chad KellyChad Kelly
RS So. Quarterback
#11 6-2, 210
Buffalo, NY

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.  Stoudt has improved in that area.  He looked the most comfortable.  He ran the offense faster than the other two but he also had the luxury of having more veterans on the field with him.

Chad Kelly just has an air about him.  He moved well and showed no signs of any knee issues from last season.  He might have the strongest arm of the threesome.  He also may be the best athlete of the three.  I think Kelly is a candidate to be the starter at some point next season.

Deshaun WatsonDeshaun Watson
Fr. Quarterback
#4 6-3, 190
Gainesville, GA

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looked good for his first practice.  He looked better than the first time I saw Boyd, Kyle ParkerKyle Parker
Quarterback (2008 - 2010)
#11 6-1, 200
Jacksonville, FL

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, Willy KornWilly Korn
# 6-2, 210
Duncan, SC

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, Cullen Harper and on down the line.  Watson just looks very smooth in everything he does.  He does have a long "backswing" in his throwing motion but he throws a beautiful ball.  I was impressed with his deep balls and how effortless everything is to him.  Watson was not perfect and has so much to learn, but you can tell why everyone thought he was a five star in high school.  He needs to add strength and size but he has everything you could look for in a quarterback.

It’s only one day and it was in shorts, but yesterday only increased my excitement about the quarterback race for 2014 and beyond.

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Prayer List

We have started a prayer list on the blog.  Here are the guidelines:

If you are offended by prayer or prayer lists then I apologize in advance.  The blog is free and the prayer list will be on the bottom of the page so you don’t have to read it.

If you would like to add someone to the list please email me at mickeyplyler@hotmail.com

*Please let me know when it is appropriate to take the person off of the prayer list.

Those who need our prayers include: Finn Brookover, Jo Ann Bachman, Kenneth Bryant, Pruitt Martin, Got Igers and his family, David Rowland, Leonard, Gillespie and his family, Jim S., Daniel Rosborough, the Huffman family, Nancy Winkler, John Reeve, Vinnie Brock, Kaitlyn L., Susan Miller, Joyce Harley, Steve Proveaux, Jeffrey Greene, the Hutto family, Sherl Drawdy, Caleb Kennedy, Teresa O'Connor, Matt Jacobs, Perrin Seigler, Candee Massee, Lindsey Jordan, Sam Catoe, Tyler Felch, the Nicolopulos family, "the Jacksonville, FL guys," Kim Sims, the Coyle family, Ryleigh Tedder, Steve Lee, Kelly Trakas, Jimmy Moore, the Thomas V. family, Emary Claire Young, Kitty Bowers, Julie Locke, the Scheider family, Lauren Kittles' family, Frank Gentry, Joyce Bussey, Stacey McKeown, Dale Childs, Larry Lentz, Jr., Carl Sharperson, Scott Hannon, William Perry, Tyler Swaney, Lillian, Mark Feit, David Frame, Chad Berry, the family of Matthew M. Watson, the Dowis family, Shervin Messer, Alan Putnam, the Olivers, Lee Tate, Ronnie Abrams, Eddie Greene, the Jackson family, Bill Vader, Jim Taylor, Tina DeWitt, Rock Horne, Christopher Tuten, Bobby Wayne Thomas, Emma and Danielle Carothers, Robert Ditty, Mr. and Mrs. Murray Smith, Dot Cartee, Ayden Mills, Millie Heatley, Lynn Martin and family, Michael Pinson, Jake David family, Angie Crowley, Ira, Mike Tolson, Poly Wells, Dr. Muriel Bishop, Jack Cunningham, Emily Jefford Meister, Zachary Stoller, Aaron Clackum, Pat James, Cortney Moore, William Moore, Angelia and Savannah Anderson, William Ross, Meredith Legg, Scott Johns, Frank Carroll, Brandon ThompsonBrandon Thompson
Defensive Tackle (2008 - 2011)
#98 6-2, 310
Thomasville, GA

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, Alvin Sammons, Georgine McAlhaney, Glen Davis, Mike Price, Clay Childers, Aaron Knight, Danielle Johnston and family, Nicholas Abrams, Lana Kuykendall, Gary, Gary G., William Huggins, Jim Bennett, Chantz Fowler, Ethel McElveen, Michele Gurganus, William Gentry, Lewis Usher and Tanya Sanders,  Shon Cooper, Nick Collins, Amanda Peake, Danny Hammond, Chip Turner, Nick Collins, Allen Steen, the Sturkey family, the Lance family, Nick Chrisley's family, Allison Williams, Lt. Kyle Walker, Summer and Joel Johnson, Nicole O'Donnell, James O. Johnson, Joy Pruett and family, Bill Schmidt, Jack Bailey, Gardner Family, Charles Turner, Kathy Bartholomew, Ray Sanders, David and Robin Blocker, J.R. Ray, Kenneth Kowe, Lauren Sielicki, Doug Bailey and family, Jenna Phipps, Mark Lawrence, Harlan Sullins, Peter Laboy, Kat and Carlisle Jones, Elizabeth Galloway and family, Anita McDonald, Willard Harryman, Liz Surratt, Molly Senn, Jackie Shearer, Richard Sellers, Tim Drisdelle, Edward Easterling, Dawson Bourne, Susan and Mike Brown, Julie Goodman Marshall, Willard and Dorothy Harryman, Justin Jernigan, Jack  Cunningham,  Mia Daughtery, Tee Senn, Jim Lanier, Bob Garrett, Skylar, Joseph Thomas, Mrs. Nelis, Jeanne Thompson, Sean Rowell, George Parker, Levon KirklandLevon Kirkland
# 0, 0

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and family, Catherine Sewell, Randy Davenport, Patrick DeStefanoPatrick DeStefano
Offensive Line (2012 - 2013)
#71 6-5, 275
Spartanburg, SC

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, David Vaughn, Keith Dalton, B.T. and our great country and the men and women in uniform that protect and serve it every day, plus their families.

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