CLEMSON - The news that starting center Jermyn Chester won't start Saturday's
game against Georgia Tech due to a stinger in his neck came as a bit of a
surprise Thursday, though perhaps it shouldn't have.
The revelation from Tommy Bowden is just another in a freakish series of
injuries that left the Clemson head coach scratching his head.
Chester suffered the injury in last week's 33-13 victory over Louisiana Tech,
though he was on the field all but four offensive plays. Chester was held out
of contact drills this week and will be replaced by junior walk-on Tommy
"(Chester's) had a little burner down his arm and hasn't practiced any full
speed," Bowden said. "He hasn't been hit, so we won't know (if he can play)
With junior William Henry making his first start at offensive tackle in place
of Derrick Brantley (lost for the year, torn ACL/MCL), two-fifths of the
opening day starting offensive line will be new Saturday. Cedric Johnson, who
missed last Saturday with a sprained ankle, is back at left guard.
But Bowden doesn't expect to change his play-calling because of the changes
"Not right now," he said. "It could later with an injury or two."
But offensive coordinator Brad Scott said the injuries, coupled with those
which will keep starting tailback Bernard Rambert (tendonitis) and starting
tailback Chad Jasmin (groin) out, are enough to at least have a backup plan
"This offense has been one with a lot of ways to attack defenses, and because
we spread the field...you can get by, at times, without maybe just a great,
great player at those positions," Scott said. "I think these players have
improved their games and are solid players, but it's not like we're a power
offense that's going to get in there, bunch everything up and every block's
got to be perfect in the running game.
"But it affects you a little bit, and there are some things you might be a
little concerned about calling. We might try to protect those players once we
get settled into the game and see how they're doing."
Meanwhile, starting defensive end Khaleed Vaughn won't start due to a
sprained ankle. He and backup defensive tackle Todd McClinton (ankle) join
Chester on the game-time decision list.
SID Personnel Update
Clemson, SC-Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden said Thursday after
practice that starting center Jermyn Chester would not start against
Georgia Tech on Saturday. Chester has been suffering from a
"stinger" to his neck and upper shoulder. He has been medically
cleared to play, however and is listed as questionable for the
Tommy Sharpe, a walk-on who played 22 snaps against Georgia
and six against Louisiana Tech, will make his first college start.
That means Clemson will start four offensive linemen who will be
making their third college start or less. William Henry will start
at right tackle in place of Derrick Brantley, who was lost for the
season when he suffered a torn ACL in the Louisiana Tech game. It
will be the first career start for Henry, a native of Greenville.
Cedric Johnson, who will be making his second career start,
will be back in the lineup at a guard position. He missed the
Louisiana Tech game with an ankle sprain. Greg Walker will start at
the other guard, his third career start. Gary Byrd will start at
left tackle and this will be his 17th career start.
Bowden also said that starting fullback Chad Jasmin and
starting running back Bernard Rambert would both miss Saturday's
game. Jasmin has a pulled groin muscle and Rambert has tendonitis in
a foot. Rambert did not dress for the Louisiana Tech game, while
Jasmin played just seven snaps in the first half.
Defensively, Khaleed Vaughn continued to improve after
suffering a sprained ankle and sprained knee in practice on Tuesday.
He is still listed as questionable for Saturday's ACC opener. Todd
McClinton, who also has had a sprained ankle, is also questionable.
Toure Francis and Derrick Brantley are out for the season with torn
ACL injuries. Francis will have his knee reconstruction surgery on
Vigodsky Resting After Surgery
Clemson, SC-Dr. Harold Vigodsky longtime statistician for the Clemson
radio network and the Clemson athletic department, had triple by-pass
heart surgery at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center on Thursday.
The 5 and a half hours of surgery were said to be successful and he
is resting comfortably.
Vigodsky has worked for the Clemson athletic department and
the Clemson radio network on a part-time basis for over 25 years. He
is also the head statistician for the Carolina Panthers of the NFL.
He will miss at least the next six weeks.
Vigodsky, a resident of Spartanburg, began feeling chest
pains while working the Panthers vs. Baltimore Ravens game this past
Sunday. He had tests at the Spartanburg Regional Medical Center on
Wednesday that revealed heart blockages.
Friends who wish to send him a get-well card can do so by
dropping a card to Dr. Harold Vigodsky, PO Box 679, Fair Forest, SC
Dan Scott covers Clemson University for the Florence Morning News. He also hosts SportsTalk from 10 a.m.-Noon, Monday-Friday, on WCCP-Fm, 104.9. Click here for Dan Scott's SportsTalk discussion board.