CLEMSON - In his classic baseball book, Jim Bouton told the story of a
youngster coming home with a forlorn look on his face, dragging a bat and
"How'd the game go?" his father asked.
"Okay I guess," the son said. "I had a no-hitter until the big kids got out
Such was the scenario for Clemson's freshmen Friday. After two days of
exclusive instruction by the coaching staff, the big kids - also known as the
veterans - showed up for workouts at Jervey Meadows.
Suddenly, some of the freshmen had that aforementioned forlorn look in their
"That's one of the last things we talked about at the end of practice," head
coach Tommy Bowden said after the morning session. "Some of them kind of had
that look about them, and you could see them asking themselves 'What am I
"We talked about the upperclassmen having to help these guys along. I asked
them to remember their first day at practice and try to help these guys
Not all the freshmen are intimidated, of course. Wide receivers Roscoe Crosby
and Airese Currie already have jumped to No. 2 on the depth chart at their
respective positions, and there is good reason to believe the same will hold
true for some of the young defensive linemen in camp.
After his first up-close view of Crosby and Currie, senior quarterback Woody
Dantzler was impressed.
"They looked good," he said. "They already fit in well here...I think they're
going to help us."
Young or old, everyone was forced to deal with the heat Friday, and six
Clemson players had to take fluids via IV after the morning practice. The
evening workout was much cooler after the first hour.
Bowden said the Tigers got in six full hours on the practice field.
"That's pretty good for this time of year, with the heat," he said.
- Bowden said the kicking game was solid Friday, especially sophomore place
kicker Aaron Hunt.
"He hit every one of them, and all of them were right down the middle,"
- Dantzler, defensive tackle Nick Eason and cornerback Charles Hafley will
miss today's morning practice in order to go through graduation exercises.
The feat is especially remarkable for Eason, who is graduating after only
three years in school. Counting this season, he still has two years of
"That's really impressive," Bowden said. "You really have to load up in
summer school to pull that off."
- Left tackle Akil Smith, who missed last season with a blood clot in his
lung, is working out at full speed this season. However, Bowden wants to see
"Consistency has been his problem," he said. "You'd like for him to be a
starter, since he (was) for two years. But he's not right now. That's up to
Clemson, SC-Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden worked his team through
two practices on Friday. It was the first day of practice for the
entire team. The Clemson freshmen had four practices as a unit, two
each day on August 6 and 7. But, today was the first day the entire
team went through a workout.
The Tigers had 105 players present for the workout. Only one
player was sidelined in a yellow jersey. That was offensive lineman
Nick Black, who is nursing a sprained ankle and was on the sidelines
for both practices.
Despite the hot temperatures in the morning, as hot as 90
degrees, no injuries were reported. The team worked out for nearly
three hours in the morning and for 2:45 in the afternoon.
Overall, Bowden was pleased with the first day. "It was the
best first day since I have been at Clemson," said Bowden. "I saw
aggressive play out there, especially in the morning practice. We
wore shoulder pads in the morning and there was good hitting pad to
Clemson players would engage, but not take the opposing player to the
ground during the workout in the morning. The Tigers did not wear
shoulder pads in the afternoon.
Clemson will work twice on Saturday then take Sunday off for Fan
Appreciation Day. Three players will miss the morning practice in
order to go through commencement exercises. Bowden will excuse
quarterback Woodrow Dantzler, defensive tackle Nick Eason and
defensive back Charles Hafley. They will return for the afternoon
"We congratulate all three of these players," said Bowden. "It is
impressive, especially for Nick Eason, who is doing it in three years
and a couple of summers. Willie Simmons has a chance to do that to.
It is quite an accomplishment for all three."