CLEMSON - With Saturday's first major scrimmage of the spring looming, Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden said Thursday was his football team's best day of the spring so far.
The Tigers have now completed six practices, including a mini-scrimmage on Wednesday. And as Bowden hoped, several players are starting to draw attention to themselves in a positive manner.
"It was the most spirited practice we've had. The execution was good. The collisions were good," he said. "You look for good collisions, and I'm starting to get some good collisions by more than one guy."
Linebackers Nick Watkins and David Dunham, along with defensive back Tremaine Billie, have been recent standouts, Bowden said.
After watching Wednesday's film, Bowden also said his coaching staff went out of their way to praise C.J. Gaddis, Jamaal Fudge, Charles Bennett and Dorrell Scott on defense; offensively the staff singled out LaDonte Harris, Cole Downer and Dustin Fry.
The center spot, where Fry is making his push, is one major focus this spring. With Tommy Sharpe graduated, Fry and his backup, Roman Fry, are getting heavy work at the spot.
"Dustin's looked really good so far," Bowden said. "Roman had a little bit of trouble with the (shotgun) snap (Wednesday), which is a big factor in this offense. We might also take a look at him at guard again."
Meanwhile, much attention still is being paid to basketball player-turned-football player Olu Babalola.
Bowden said that Babalola, along with the other third-teamers, got little work on Thursday. Following Saturday's scrimmage, Bowden said he probably would make a decision on whether or not to move Babalola to offense.
"If he can catch at all we might look at some jump ball-type plays we could put in," he said. "The defensive side of the ball was where we could get him on the field the quickest this week, but we may look at making that change."
Saturday's scrimmage at Death Valley will run for approximately two hours. It is closed to the public.
Dan Scott covers Clemson University for the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Seneca Daily Journal/Clemson Messenger and TigerNet. He also hosts SportsTalk from 9 a.m.-Noon, Monday-Friday, on WCCP-Fm, 104.9. Click here for Dan Scott's SportsTalk discussion board.