Final weekend notes

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CLEMSON – The final week of spring practice beckons, and the Clemson Tigers will begin the week with a scrimmage on Monday and end the week with the spring game on Saturday, ending football until the first week of August.

We met with a few of the players late Friday afternoon, and there were a few notes we would like to share.

First off, starting right guard Tyler ShatleyTyler Shatley
RS Jr. Offensive Guard
#62 6-3, 295
Icard, NC

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told us that Isaiah BattleIsaiah Battle
Fr. Offensive Tackle
#79 6-6, 280
St. George, VA

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has not yet won the starting job at left tackle, and the players getting the most reps at each position with the starters are Brandon ThomasBrandon Thomas
RS Jr. Offensive Line
#63 6-3, 305
Spartanburg, SC

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(left tackle), Kalon DavisKalon Davis
RS So. Offensive Guard
#67 6-5, 330
Chester, SC

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and David BeasleyDavid Beasley
RS So. Offensive Guard
#68 6-4, 315
Columbus, GA

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(left guard), Ryan NortonRyan Norton
RS Fr. Offensive Line
#58 6-3, 270
Mauldin, SC

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(center), Shatley (right guard) and Giff Timothy (right tackle).

Head coach Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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said Battle needs to show some urgency if he wants to win a starting job.

"He has all the talent, but I will not say that I'm over the top pleased with him and his performance this spring. It is just inconsistent,” Swinney said Friday. “It is really just about having the focus and drive every day to be the best and until he commits to that he is not ever going to be what he is capable of being. But at the end of the day the coaches are going to put the guys out there that give us the best chance to win.”

Quarterback Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS Jr. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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said Battle has all of the tools to be a great player.

"Like everybody, he's got to improve on a lot of things, like knowledge of the offense, knowledge of the opposing defense,” Boyd said. “I think once everything is there mentally, he'll be an unbelievable guy out there. He's almost like another weapon out there. He's not a skill guy but he's close.

Shatley also told us that this spring has been the most physical he has seen during his time at Clemson.

“It has gotten a lot more physical,” he said. “There are more PAW drills, more inside stuff and then there are some new drills we are running. It is a lot more physical.”

Boyd said that the offense – which has been coming along slowly as offensive coordinator Chad MorrisChad Morris
Offensive Coordinator / QBs
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revamps the playbook – is a work in progress.

"It's little by little, but it's coming together,” Boyd said. “Today was an emphasis on short yardage. It started off with us not doing as well as we wanted to. We just try to contain the play and finish strong. Overall, there is no room for complacency. Us going out here and performing every time we step on the field, that's what we have to do."

Boyd drew a big laugh from the media when he suggested that Morris and Swinney work on new plays in the unlikeliest of places.

"They think about that - at any given time - in their sleep or in the bathroom,” he said. “I think that's a sign of greatness for a coach. I'm proud of the coaches that we've got here."

Boyd was asked if there was one player that has really stood out to him this spring, and he said it was senior running back Rod McDowell while adding that two freshmen have also caught his eye.

"Hot Rod, a lot of people don't get a chance to see him. He's had to wait and take his turn,” he said. “But that guy is unbelievable. The stuff he does when he has the ball in his hands are things I've never seen before. I think it'll surprise some people as game time rolls around. I'm excited that he's going to be that guy. He can take any given play to the house.

"I think Jordan LeggettJordan Leggett
Fr. Tight End
# 6-6, 235
Navarre, FL

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has had a really good spring. He's a new guy and has come in midyear and picked it up really well. Our expectation for him is to not look at him as a freshman. We want him to continue to grasp it and go. And he's done that. G-HOP [receiver Germone HopperGermone Hopper
Fr. Wide Receiver
#5 6-0, 175
Charlotte, NC

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] is another guy."

Boyd said that he and center Ryan Norton – who takes over for the departed Dalton FreemanDalton Freeman
Gr. Center
#55 6-5, 265
Pelion, SC

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– are establishing a critical bond this spring.

"If anything, a quarterback's best friend is that center,” he said. “We've had a good bond, good chemistry. He is one of the most hard-working guys I know. He's very self-critical. He'll go out there and do it and do it until it's done right. And that's what you want. You want guys to push themselves and push everyone around him. I'm excited about watching him lead those guys up front with the work ethic he has."

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