Clemson preseason practice report: Day 5


by - Senior Writer -
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CLEMSON – The Clemson Tigers ended their first day of practice of full pads Wednesday afternoon wondering about the health of right tackle Gifford TimothyGifford Timothy
RS So. Offensive Tackle
#70 6-6, 315
Middletown, DE

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.

Wednesday was the fifth practice of the 2012 camp, highlighted by an offense versus defense red zone challenge, but it was the health of Timothy – tentatively penciled in as the starter at right tackle – that had head coach Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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concerned.

Swinney said he hoped Timothy would get a good report from team doctors.

“I hope. I hope. I'm not a doctor- but anytime somebody tweaks their knee it worries you until you get the actual results back,” Swinney said. “They think he's going to be okay. I don't really know. Hopefully it's just a PCL and if that's what it is he should be okay. It's not something that you fix or do surgery on or anything like that. I hope that's what it is. That is kind of the on-field assessment, but you never know until you actually get him in there and have it looked at. Hopefully he will be okay. He has had a good camp so far. “

Swinney said Timothy was practicing with the first team when he went down with the knee injury, but there is a battle for the second spot behind him.

“Giff was definitely one and definitely first team,” he said. “He has earned that. Joe [Gore] is coming. Joe is making a lot of progress. A guy that I'm really encouraged with is Shaq AnthonyShaq Anthony
RS So. Offensive Line
#76 6-4, 275
Williamston, SC

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. He hasn't been playing right tackle, but he is the most improved right now. [Isaiah] Battle is so much better than he was in the spring. He's still got a ways to go. The thing about him is that nobody is going to out athlete him. As he develops technique, I think he has the chance to be some kind of football player once he learns what to do. I don't know when that's going to happen. I like the prospects that we have. We are just young. Joe is the next guy in at that position. We've got some other guys that could play tackle, but we are really trying to bring those guys along. [Patrick] Destefano has even worked some tackle. He has worked at guard and tackle. Reid WebsterReid Webster
RS So. Offensive Tackle
#77 6-4, 295
Woodstock, GA

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has played some tackle in his time here. I think Gore would be the first guy we'd give that too.”

Outside of the normal bangs and bruises, Swinney had a couple of injuries to report.

Zac BrooksZac Brooks
Fr. Running Back
#24 6-2, 180
Jonesboro, AR

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had a trapezius muscle deal, but he is going to be okay,” he said. “He went down for a little bit, but I don't think he left practice. Ammon LakipAmmon Lakip
RS So. Punter / Kicker
#36 5-11, 185
Alpharetta, GA

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broke his pinkie toe on his right foot right before he reported. I hope to have him ready by the time we go play Auburn. He certainly should be ready to go by the second game.”

Swinney said that the first practice in pads was very physical and intense.

“First day of pads and it was just as you would hope it would be- a lot of intensity, very physical,” hesaid. “We didn't have great footing because we had a bunch of rain drop in here on us right before we came out. I thought the guys competed really, really hard today. And, so far, we have had a very workman-like group as they've shown up every day. Good first day and very physical. Good competition on both sides. We worked on a lot of situational stuff to get them ready for the scrimmage on Saturday. We worked on a lot of green zone, red zone, short yardage, and third down these last few days as well as some open field and normal down type stuff. I think we are right on track.”


He also said that he has been very impressed with his defensive tackles up to this point.

DeShawn WilliamsDeShawn Williams
So. Defensive Tackle
#99 6-1, 290
Central, SC

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and Grady JarrettGrady Jarrett
So. Defensive Tackle
#50 6-0, 290
Conyers, GA

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- if I could have a 100 of those guys, I'd drive a truck and load them up and bring them back because this would be the easiest game to coach in America,” he said. “If they were all like Grady Jarrett and DeShawn Williams, we wouldn't even have to come to practice. We would just stay in the office and let them come tell us how they did because those guys are what you want. Just incredibly competitive, very coachable, they give you every ounce of everything they have and not just on the practice field but off the field and the in weight room. I would put Josh WatsonJosh Watson
RS So. Defensive Tackle
#91 6-4, 290
Wilmington, DE

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right there too. Josh- that's a guy two years ago when he got here was clueless and was a long way away from being a great player and helping us, but had the want to. This guy has worked and changed his body and has really put himself in position to be a good football player and he has three years left. I'm excited about those three guys.”

He is also very encouraged by his freshmen defensive tackles.

D.J. ReaderD.J. Reader
Fr. Defensive Tackle
#48 6-3, 305
Greensboro, NC

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and Carlos WatkinsCarlos Watkins
Fr. Defensive Tackle
#94 6-4, 275
Forest City, NC

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have really impressed me,” he said. “We hit a homerun on both of them. Both of them are a little heavy. We have to get them in a little better shape. They are two very good football players with natural instincts. They are competitive. They are strong. They are tough. They don't back down. They aren't overwhelmed with the moment.”

On defensive ends

I have really challenged our defensive ends. That was probably my biggest concern coming into this thing. I am very encouraged. Vic BeasleyVic Beasley
RS So. Defensive End
#3 6-3, 235
Adairsville, GA

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has been really, really good. Same thing with Tavaris BarnesTavaris Barnes
RS So. Defensive End
#6 6-4, 270
Jacksonville, FL

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, who has unlimited potential. Seems like he has bought in. He has that look in his eye. He is serious about getting better and that is a good thing for our team.

On Tavaris Barnes

I think any time you have tragedy in your life - especially when young people have a tragedy in their lives - they can react one way or the other. Just like when Da'Quan [Bowers] lost his dad right in camp - he became really focused and it got him really dialed in on what he had to do and his perspective. I certainly think that has brought an appreciation to him that he didn't have.

On Tony StewardTony Steward
So. Linebacker
#7 6-1, 245
Hastings, FL

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I can't tell he has had an injury. I know in my mind he has had one, but just watching him he is smooth and fluid. He has done well and competed his tail off in everything. Tony has worked very hard to learn what to do when he couldn't rep. That's what a lot of guys don't do. That is what great players do. When he couldn't play and rep this spring, he was mentally repping. He doesn't look like a guy that is getting his first reps. I am really proud of him and how he has prepared himself to come out here and compete. I don't have any doubts he is going to be a very good player.

On if best LB group during his tenure at Clemson

We have the potential to be really good. They are serious. They are coachable, pay attention to details and are unselfish. We have some really high-end talent at the position if they continue to develop.

On moving Tyler ShatleyTyler Shatley
RS Jr. Offensive Guard
#62 6-3, 295
Icard, NC

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I didn't really discuss it with anybody until I had made up my mind what I wanted to do. Shatley is a football player. He is a winner. I have watched him work here for three years - grind and pay the price and do everything that has been asked of him on and off the field.

“Lieutenant Dan”- Daniel Rodriguez

“He has done good. His head is spinning because he has a lot to learn, but he has handled it as expected- he attacks it. He attacks practice. He attacks the meeting room. He attacks the playbook. That is all he is doing right now is studying. He is trying to learn all of the positions. He is as expected- tough, a great leader. Great hands. I think we will find his niche on this team.”

“He hasn’t been here long, but his natural leadership ability has already jumped out. Having a guy like that in the locker room every day or on the sideline or in the dining hall with those players is priceless because he has a perspective on life that these guys don’t have quite yet. He’s not bashful in trying to lead. This is a guy that led many men and had their lives in his hands. I think he is having a lot of fun and he is enjoying the opportunity and the privilege that he has to be here and really appreciates it. The guys have nicknamed him Lieutenant Dan. They are having a little fun with that. I’m really, really glad that he is on our team.”

Eric Mac Lain catches Dabo’s eye

“He caught my eye today. He’s one of those guys that probably won’t catch your eye until you get full gear on. He isn’t going to wow you just out there running pass routes. He catches the ball incredibly well. His deal is when you get the gear on and he can get after some people physically and I thought he did a good job today in that regard.”


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