Clemson notes for Aug 16

by - Correspondent -

The football team will practice twice on Monday and Tuesday. The emphasis on Tuesday morning will be on the kicking game, one of Tommy Bowden's main concerns.
Tony Lazzara and Chris Campbell at place kicker and Ryan Romano and Jamie Somaini at punter have caught Bowden's attention.

"Kicking would be a major concern right now because they've never done it in a game," said Bowden.

On Tuesday evening the team will scrimmage in Death Valley at 6 p.m. Bowden said the scrimmage would last into the night. The scrimmage is closed to the public.

Reggie Herring switched the defensive line to an attack-style from a read-style because of the number of inexperienced players on defense.

"I just think it blends in with what we're doing defensively," said Herring. "We're a small defense size-wise and we're going to use our quickness and
speed for an advantage rather than an Achilles' heel. That's our philosophy in recruiting. We'll take a smaller, quicker guy now. We like to have big, fast guys out there, but there's not that many to pick from and the ones
that are out there, everybody wants them."

For the old-heads on the team like defensive tackle Damonte McKenzie, the change won't be easy.

"It's hard to adjust after four years of reading keys," said McKenzie, a senior. "Back in the old defense, the defensive line held players up while the linebackers remained free. With this defense it allows the defensive
line to make more plays."

One player that should benefit, according to McKenzie, is Nick Eason, a red-shirt freshman defensive end.

"Nick's been a work horse all through summer camp," said McKenzie. "He's very aggressive, but he doesn't have that
much experience. He's aggressive and strong. He's not as strong as he needs to be to hold up guys in the read defense."

Quarterback Woody Dantzler said he was unprepared for the defenses he faced last year, particularly in the North Carolina game.

"I will never be put in that situation where I don't feel prepared again," Dantzler said. "I knew the coverages, but as far as an idea of what they're doing in this specific
coverage, I just needed a better understanding."

Bowden said the quarterback race is still to be decided, but that he would like to start working on preparations for Marshall ten days before the game.

"Woody is more deadly than the others," said Bowden. "Brandon (Streeter) is a little more consistent in accuracy and throwing."

Willie Simmons' name continues to come up. He isn't out of the race.

"For Willie to know what he knows about the offense after a few weeks is scarry," said Bowden. "It's my third year with the offense and Rich Rodriguez has been in it for eight years and he's never seen anyone pick it up this fast. He's really accurate throwing the ball and mentally he has
seemed to take the load we've given him."

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