Spring Insider: Bowden visits, Galloway with a great catch


by - Senior Writer -
Terry Bowden was at Monday's practice
Terry Bowden was at Monday's practice

CLEMSON – Monday’s spring practice was more about who was in attendance than the play on the field, at least during the abbreviated media session.

The Tigers practiced for two hours Monday, with the media allowed to watch the first 30 or so minutes (which included a lot of stretching and special teams work).

The first recognizable face was former Athletic Director Terry Don Phillips. He said he was bored and simply wanted to get out of the house, then laughed and said, “My wife needed a break.”

Standing not too far away from Phillips was Terry Bowden, brother of former Clemson coach Tommy Bowden and son of FSU legend Bobby Bowden. Bowden went 35-52 in seven seasons at Akron and guided the Zips to the MAC East division title in 2017 and bowl appearances in two of the previous three years. However, he was let go after a 4-8 season that ended with a meaningless exhibition early in December against South Carolina.

I was told that Bowden, like Phillips, is a little bored and decided to come see Dabo Swinney and his staff.

Furman head coach Clay Hendrix brought his staff to the practice. They were merely observing, with Hendrix saying, “Just seeing we can pick up a little something will help us.”

Furman is on break this week, but is already done with spring practice. The Paladins started in late January.

On the recruiting front, the biggest visitor (in terms of size) was Mobile (AL) St. Paul 3-star OT Brady Ward. The 6-6, 310-pounder had his family on hand for today’s visit, and he didn’t stray far from where offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell was working with his group.

Ward was previously on campus in September, spending two days wrapped around the Tigers’ win over Syracuse. His father, Brian, was an offensive lineman at LSU. He has offers from LSU, Florida, Ole Miss, Iowa, Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma, Virginia Tech and Arkansas, among others.

He has visits lined up the next few weeks to Oklahoma, Alabama, LSU, Ole Miss and Arkansas.

Another notable recruit on hand was 2021 Hartwell (GA) Hart County tight end Cane Berrong. He spent a lot of the early part of the practice talking to Tyler Grisham. He doesn’t have a Clemson offer, but Notre Dame, Auburn, Georgia, Florida, Ohio St., Tennessee and others have offered.

The other recruit was 2021 Bogart (GA) Prince Avenue Christian School quarterback Brock Vandagriff.

As for practice – it looked like defensive back Kyler McMichael and Ray Thornton were brandishing the yellow jerseys. Thornton has been in yellow since the start of spring practice.

At all three practices, I find myself drawn to the tight ends and today I’m glad I watched. Garrett Williams (who probably will enter the military) was coaching that group today, and he spent extra time with both Braden Galloway and Jaelyn Lay on their blocking techniques.

Once the passing drills started, Galloway made a leaping catch on the sideline that was reminiscent of Jordan Leggett. He looked like his hands were 11 feet off the ground when he made the catch.

As for Lay – I told one observer that when he puts it all together, look out. He has every tool needed to be a star at tight end, including a willingness to work. He soaked up every point Williams made. At one point, Williams helped Lay with his footwork and then turned to work with Galloway. After Williams turned his back, Lay kept working on his footwork, not stopping until he had it right.

Like Swinney has said, he’s also the first guy you want off the bus if you want to impress the other team.

Cornell Powell spent time at the 2-man spot and the 5-man spot during the early portion of practice.

Now, it’s time for interviews. We will have more later.

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