CLEMSON - Another scrimmage, another solid performance from Clemson's defense.
The much-maligned unit held the Tigers No.1 and No. 2 offenses without a big
play and recovered four turnovers Saturday at Death Valley. It marked the
third consecutive live scrimmage the defense stifled Clemson's high-powered
Unquestionably the area of most concern for the coaching staff, the defense's
play through two weeks of preseason camp has been a welcome sight.
"If I had my preferences, that's what I'd like to have," head coach Tommy
Bowden said. "When we got the ball at the 30 and had to go 70 yards I don't
think we ever did it...which is good."
There were several standout performances Saturday. Strong safety Charles
Hafley and cornerback Toure Francis each had interceptions during the
three-hour workout, while cornerback Brian Mance and safety Charles Harper
But the unquestioned star for the defense was John Leake, who had two sacks
and nine tackles (two for loss) from the star safety position and continues
to impress with each passing day.
"John Leake shows up all over the field," Bowden said. "If we can get 11 guys
to play with his motor...he's got a Keith Adams motor. It runs full tilt and
he's all over the field. (Linebacker) Rodney Thomas (six tackles, two for
loss) is like that, too..."
The longest play of the day was a 51-yard pass from freshman quarterback
Charlie Whitehurst to freshman tight end Bobby Williamson.
Other than that, the offensive highlights were few and far between, though it
must be mentioned that the coaching staff worked on several new plays and
formations "just so we could get them on film," Bowden said. "We did things
we wouldn't normally do in that down or distance."
Keith Kelly was the leading rusher with 45 yards and a touchdown on 11
carries. Bernard Rambert had 10 carries for 41 yards, and caught a five-yard
touchdown pass from quarterback Woody Dantzler.
The positive tone of the day was somewhat tempered by three injuries.
Senior linebacker Altroy Bodrick and senior tight end Morgan Woodward each
left the field with what initially has been diagnosed as sprained knees.
Bodrick will have an MRI and will be reevaluated followed the test.
The third injury happened not to a player, but to defensive coordinator
While jumping up and down, encouraging the defense during a play, Herring
suffered what may be a torn Achilles tendon. Amazingly, Herring finished the
scrimmage before finally being carted off to the training room.
He will undergo and MRI to determine if the Achilles is torn.
Clemson is off today, and resumes two-a-day practices Monday.
Altroy Bodrick will miss the entire year after suffering a torn ligament in his knee. He is eligible to receive a medical redshirt
this year and be available for next year.