Monday practice observations

by - Senior Writer -
Wayne Gallman and Tony Elliott working on ball security.
Wayne Gallman and Tony Elliott working on ball security.

CLEMSON – The Clemson football team practiced under sunny and warm skies Monday afternoon, and the media was allowed to take in the first six periods.

I spent a good portion of the practice watching the quarterbacks, and for what it’s worth it looked like if there was indeed a hierarchy at this point freshman Tucker IsraelTucker Israel
Fr. Quarterback
#10 5-11, 190
Orlando, FL

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would have been taking second team snaps. Israel put several throws right on the money. But fellow freshman Kelly BryantKelly Bryant
Fr. Quarterback
#2 6-4, 205
Calhoun Falls, SC

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looked good, too. In fact, he looked about as good as I’ve seen him.

However, Nick SchuesslerNick Schuessler
RS Jr. Quarterback
#12 6-3, 195
Grayson, GA

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was the better quarterback of the three – he was on the money with his throws, wasn’t late on any pass and showed a good grasp of the offense. In other words, what you would expect from a veteran.

If the coaches decide that one of the two freshmen will play this season – stagger their eligibility – it will be a hard decision in September.

Of course, we can’t talk about quarterbacks without talking about Deshaun WatsonDeshaun Watson
So. Quarterback
#4 6-2, 205
Gainesville, GA

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, who was running without any limp or hesitancy. He looks bigger in his upper body every time I see him, and if he continues to gain weigh the right way he could very well be 215 by the start of the season.

During one of the passing sessions, wide receiver Mike WilliamsMike Williams
Jr. Wide Receiver
#7 6-4, 210
Vance, SC

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earned a small rebuke from Swinney. Williams tried to one-hand the ball and dropped it and Swinney barked, “You have two hands. Use them!” And Jeff ScottJeff Scott
Co-Offensive Coordinator / WR
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followed with, “You complain about touches and I just tried to get you two.”

Scott also complained the receivers weren’t running complete routes in the scrimmage and Scott pointed out that was why the receiver “almost got your teeth knocked out by the safety.”


A couple of interested visitors at Monday afternoon’s practice – 2015 defensive tackle signee Gage CervenkaGage Cervenka
Fr. Defensive Tackle
# 6-3, 275
Greenwood, SC

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out of Greenwood (SC) was in attendance along with former offensive lineman Kalon DavisKalon Davis
Offensive Guard (2010 - 2014)
#67 6-5, 340
Chester, SC

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and quarterback Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
Quarterback (2009 - 2013)
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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Cervenka spent most of his time with defensive tackles coach Dan BrooksDan Brooks
Assoc. Head Coach / Def. Tackles
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watching the tackles go through drills.

*Former Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd was also an interested observer, and he spent a good portion of the practice with head coach Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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watching the quarterbacks go through drills.

*Former Clemson and current New Orleans Saints running back C.J. SpillerC.J. Spiller
Pro Running Back
#28 5-11, 195
Lake Butler, FL

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was also on hand, and he of course cast a critical eye at the running backs as they went through drills. For the record, Spiller really likes what he sees out of Wayne GallmanWayne Gallman
RS So. Running Back
#9 6-1, 205
Loganville, GA

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Gallman simply looks the best of any of the backs right now. He has the burst and the confidence you want in your top guy, and he doesn’t take plays off in practice. At least not when we’ve been there. Of course, he was practicing in front of his former head coach so that might have had a little something to do with the extra spring in his step.

*Former offensive lineman Kalon Davis was in attendance. Davis had surgery before Clemson’s pro day to alleviate a back injury and told us that he had his staple removed this morning. He isn’t able to do any rehab until he’s completely cleared by doctors but did say that he’s still hearing from several NFL teams.

*Loganville (GA) Grayson head coach Mickey Conn was at practice with what looked like another Grayson coach. Conn and Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney were roommates at Alabama.


Tight end Stanton SeckingerStanton Seckinger
Gr. Tight End
#81 6-5, 240
Isle of Palms, SC

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, who suffered a knee injury in Clemson’s win over South Carolina, was running during practice. He wore a bulky brace on his left leg, but appeared to be running without a limp.

D.J. GreenleeD.J. Greenlee
RS So. Tight End
#87 6-1, 235
Clemson, SC

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and Adam ChoiceAdam Choice
So. Running Back
#26 5-9, 215
Thomasville, GA

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both suffered a torn ACL last season, but both were moving around and running during practice.

Redshirt freshman tight end Milan RichardMilan Richard
RS Fr. Tight End
#80 6-2, 245
Savannah, GA

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is on crutches and in a cast after suffering a torn ligament earlier in spring practice.

Jadar JohnsonJadar Johnson
Jr. Defensive Back
#18 6-0, 200
Orangeburg, SC

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was in a yellow jersey for Monday’s practice.

Other observations

* Ryan CarterRyan Carter
RS So. Cornerback
#31 5-9, 180
Grayson, GA

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was working with the punt return unit, along with receiver Germone HopperGermone Hopper
RS Jr. Wide Receiver
#5 5-11, 175
Charlotte, NC

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On the offensive line, Mitch HyattMitch Hyatt
Fr. Offensive Line
#75 6-6, 270
Sugar Hill, GA

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was at left tackle and Jake FruhmorgenJake Fruhmorgen
Fr. Offensive Line
#63 6-5, 285
Tampa, FL

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was at right tackle. Noah GreenNoah Green
Fr. Offensive Line
#71 6-5, 275
Boiling Springs, SC

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also played left tackle, while Zach GiellaZach Giella
Fr. Offensive Line
#77 6-5, 275
Augusta, GA

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is getting a lot of work at center.

*A lot has been made of junior tight end Jordan LeggettJordan Leggett
Jr. Tight End
#16 6-5, 250
Navarre, FL

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’s inconsistencies through his first two years at Clemson, but hopefully Durrell Berry can have an impact. Berry is constantly in Leggett’s ear on the practice field, taking a personal interest in Leggett.

*Redshirt sophomore Ebenezer OgundekoEbenezer Ogundeko
RS So. Defensive End
#1 6-3, 250
Brooklyn, NY

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, who is vying for one of the starting defensive end spots, was very vocal during the first part of practice.

*Freshman Sterling JohnsonSterling Johnson
Fr. Defensive Line
#93 6-5, 275
Clayton, NC

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was seen wearing a chest protector during practice, similar to that of a baseball catcher.

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