Comments from Tommy Bowden After the First Day of Spring Practice

by - Correspondent -

CLEMSON, SC -- Comments from Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden after practice on Saturday, March 11, 2000.

Do you expect to accomplish more this spring since you've got so many players on the field in the spring as opposed to last year?

Yeah we've got a lot of guys but everybody's got 85 guys, some better than others. As long as what you've got is what you need to get accomplished what you want to get accomplished. Sometimes you've got ten guys back and sometimes it's good and sometimes it's bad. If the ten guys back ain't any good then what good is it have those guys back because you're going to be signing guys over the next two years to take their spots. You waste time. There's enough talent here to supply competition and competition is what you need to be successful. Quality athletes competing against each other. If he messes up put another out there. That's what you need. I've got numbers but do I have that? I don't know.

The players are talking about going 9-2 or better. Is that realistic?

The thing that concerns me is we've been here an year and two months. Any of those people that own a business I'd like to see their profits after a year and a half. Circumstances change from year to year. Chemistry, the schedule. Then again the only thing that is going to concern me is the quality of the depth and fatigue when you're making a push at the end. Do you have quality back ups?

With all the guys coming back are the backups good enough to push the starters for their job?

That's why I question the numbers. If those guys at two aren't good enough to create competition then I'm wasting time waiting for somebody else. It takes four of five years to go get them and get them in here. That's why I told them before we started - do I have to go another season playing five offensive linemen. Do I have to go through another year of playing five guys and another year of a defensive line getting six sacks. Can we apply pressure with four guys and Keith Adams getting the sack every time.

Have you challenged the defensive linemen?

I told them what I told you. It sounds like a pretty good challenge to me. Getting six sacks in 12 games. I mean sounds like a challenge to me. We've got to be able to apply pressure with a four-man rush.

Comments on linebacker John Leake, a linebacker who signed a letter of intent Saturday.

I was really surprised when we got the film. If he had been in-state we would have recruited him in a heart beat. Rich was out there speaking and a competing high school coach that Rich knew sent us some film. Unfortunately, he sent it to Oklahoma and Texas A&M. He just got back from Oklahoma Thursday. I thought he would go to Oklahoma. I was surprised when he committed to us. He had some 1-A offers. He wanted Texas, Oklahoma. He just held out. Once the film got out.

We just happened to have a tie, not so much between the coach but a competing coach. Not going to go out there on a consistent basis, but you want your program to be marketable on a national basis. Oklahoma is a lot closer.

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