The Beat Goes On: Tigers ramp up intensity during Tuesday's bowl practice


by - Senior Writer -
Tee Higgins was in a green jersey but was moving around fine during the periods open to the media Tuesday.
Tee Higgins was in a green jersey but was moving around fine during the periods open to the media Tuesday.

CLEMSON – Tuesday’s Fiesta Bowl practice shows No. 3 Clemson is ramping up the intensity as the Tigers prepare to take on Ohio State.

The first bowl practice last week featured players dancing and having fun, and the music started out with a selection of holiday favorites.

Tuesday was different – the music went away from the normal hip-hop/rap and some rock favorites that are on the usual practice list and it had more of a hard rock feel, including AC/DC’s Jailbreak. Heck, even Kenny Loggins’ Highway to the Danger Zone made an appearance even though it isn't hard rock.

The added tempo and beat led to a ramped-up practice – players sprinted between drills with urgency and the coaches made sure their voices were heard. Brent Venables was working with special teams and then the defense and looked like he was in game week mode.

Yep, these Tigers are turning it up a notch for the Buckeyes.

*Former Clemson tight end Keith Jennings is now a Buffalo Bills scout and he was in attendance. He was joined by Homer Jordan, who helped lead the Tigers to their first National Championship back in 1981. It’s always special when the legends return.

*Wide receivers Tee Higgins and Justyn Ross were in green (limited contact) jerseys at the start of practice. Both players appeared to be moving well and didn’t show any discomfort during drills, so it’s likely the green jerseys are just precautionary.

*Defensive tackle Darnell Jefferies and cornerback AJ Terrell were in yellow jerseys (no contact) and Jefferies spent the first part of practice walking around the perimeter of the outside practice fields.

*Linebacker Bryton Constantin is missing the season as he recovers from two torn ACL injuries, but he takes his job as a team leader seriously. Constantin is in the middle of as much of the action as he can, and that includes running out on the field to encourage his defensive teammates. I wrote during his recruitment that he was a future team leader, and he hasn’t disappointed since he’s been on campus.

And not that it matters, but Constantin was warming up with grad assistant Xavier Brewer and he can spin the football – perfect spirals and zip up to 45 yards without much effort.

*Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney worked with special teams and Tyler Grisham worked with the wide receivers, the first time we’ve seen Grisham exclusively with the wideouts.

*We were allowed to watch the early portion of special teams practice, and kicker B.T. Potter was working from the right hash. Potter has had trouble hitting from the right hash this season. He was perfect on the six attempts I saw.

*We watched the first-team defense run against the scout team for a few minutes and both linebacker James Skalski and cornerback Derion Kendrick had impressive interceptions.

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