Clemson Football Practice Notebook

by - Correspondent -

Notes from Clemson's Tuesday practice:

- Center Dustin Fry returned to the practice field after missing more than a week with a hamstring injury.

That's the good news.

The bad news is that Roman Fry, who had been working in Dustin's spot at center, was in a yellow jersey Tuesday due to an injured - you guessed it - hamstring.

"Two fat slow guys with hamstrings," Bowden laughed, shaking his head.

Roman Fry is expected to be back at full speed by Thursday.

- Michael Hamlin continues to impress at safety, getting playing time behind - and at times with - both Jamaal Fudge and C.J. Gaddis.

"It's not so much that they're doing bad, we're just trying to get a third guy ready," Bowden said. "He's chasing both those guys pretty close.

Currently Hamlin is listed as the backup to both safety positions, with Roy Walker fourth in line.

Meanwhile, Chris Clemmons continues to battle Sergio Gilliam for the starting cornerback spot opposite Tye Hill.

- Bowden singled out defensive lineman Cory Groover as a player who needs to "elevate it up notch."

Groover, healthy now after recovering from a gunshot wound in the thigh last spring, is expected to be one of the top playmakers on the defensive line.

"He's got the talent to do it, but right now we've got some other guys starting ahead of him," said Bowden.

- At right offensive tackle, Marion Dukes is holding down his starting spot so far, with Cory Lambert and Christian Capote fighting for the second team slot.

On the left side, Tim DeBeer has moved ahead of incumbent Barry Richardson as the starter.

"Tim's a fifth-year senior, and though he's not as athletic as Barry, but he doesn't make a lot of mistakes or blow a lot of assignments," said Bowden.

Elsewhere on the line, Chris McDuffie has looked so good at guard since moving from defensive line a few days ago, Bowden said he may have a shot at earning the second team slot.

"Roman had been kind of battling Dustin at center. Now with the way McDuffie has looked, we might let that battle materialize and see what happens," he said.

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