CLEMSON - A pair of links to Clemson's glory days paid a visit to the team's practice Thursday afternoon.
Levon Kirkland and Michael Dean Perry were on hand at head coach Tommy Bowden's invitation to speak to the current edition of the Tigers. Kirkland, who was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers out of Clemson in 1992, introduced Perry (Cleveland - 1988), who spoke to the team prior to Thursday's workout.
"He (Perry) does a really good job," Bowden said. "He talked about tradition, pride. The things that motivated him and things that helped him succeed...He ought to be a motivational speaker."
Bowden has made a habit of bringing in former players to speak to the team when the opportunity has presented itself. This time Kirkland and Perry were in town for a golf tournament, and Bowden was alerted to the fact by another former Clemson standout - Jeff Davis.
And despite the generation gap between the former and current players, Bowden said the message seems to get through to his current team.
"(Perry's) got credibility because of his track record," he said. "He talks about the great tradition of the '80s, and these kids (don't remember). That's the gap, and where we have to create our own modern tradition."
Wide receiver Chansi Stuckey (hamstring) remains a game time decision for Saturday. Sports Information Director Tim Bourret put the sophomore's chances of playing at 50-50.
Meanwhile, fellow wideout Kelvin Grant was better Thursday and should be ready to play against Utah State.
Grant had to be treated prior to Wednesday's practice for what was then termed "flu-like symptoms." As it turned out Grant had some sort of allergic reaction, but after treatment it appears he is clear to play.
By the time Utah State's season is completed, the Aggies will have logged over 23,000 air miles playing six road games.
According to Mike Strauss, the school's director of media relations, Utah State took two "payday" games this season - road games at Clemson and Alabama - to help fund other programs in the athletic department.
Then there's the school's conference road schedule.
Despite being located in the Western U.S., the Aggies compete in the Sun Belt Conference. That means this season's road schedule includes games at Troy (Troy, Ala.), Middle Tennessee (Murfreesboro, Tenn.), Louisiana-Monroe and Arkansas State (Jonesboro, Ark.).
"I kind of wish we were flying commercial to all these places. I could use the air miles," Strauss joked.