Clemson, SC-Clemson had its first day of two-a-day practices on Friday in blistering 100-degree heat on the practice fields behind the Jervey Athletic Center. The Tigers worked for two and a half hours in the morning in full pads and for two hours in the evening in shorts and shoulder pads.
The Tigers were suppose to have their first two-a-day session on Thursday, but Head Coach Tommy Bowden changed the routine at the last minute. "We went out on the field to start flex around 6:00 PM," said Bowden, who is in his ninth year at Clemson. "Just as we were about to start, a fire truck came near the practice field and sprayed the team with water. I then called off practice. They were very excited."
The Tigers then changed and went to the West Endzone club at Memorial Stadium where they watched a movie. "We even had popcorn," said Bowden. "I had seen a couple of pro teams change their schedule in the preseason recently. Sometimes change is good. We had a good practice for two and a half hours on Thursday morning. We are in the middle of eight consecutive days of practice, the only time all year we will do that. I thought we needed a change.
"I saw where the New Orleans Saints went to a water park to break up the monotony. We don't have a water park near Clemson, so I brought the water to the team at the practice fields.
"This team has done everything we have asked of them so far. Cutting down the number of two-a-day practices, drinking water, taking breaks in practice?Bear Bryant must be turning over in his grave."
Clemson worked in full pads on Friday morning. A couple of the freshman stood out for Bowden's team. "Brandon May is linebacker who stood out today. He is someone who jumped out at me today. We hadn't talked much about him as a candidate to play this year, but he has done very well.
"Kourtnei Brown had a good day and so did Jarvis Jenkins. We are going to need a fifth defensive tackle and Jarvis is someone we are going to have to look at very closely. Defensive back Chris Chancellor was a standout in a 10-minute scrimmage at the end of the practice. He had a tackle for loss and pass deflection that saved a touchdown on consecutive plays.
Clemson will hold a scrimmage at Death Valley on Saturday morning. It will be closed to the public and the media. "It will be more of a situational scrimmage. We will kick off-and-on throughout the scrimmage so it will simulate a regular game. That is important because we will have two new kickers this year.
"We will look hard at Sadat Chambers at running back. He needs to get some work since he has not played the position since high school. On defense we will have a good look at the linebackers. We know what Antonio Clay is capable of based on what we saw last September and October, but we want to see how he has progressed. The same goes for the other linebackers.
Bowden said that he expects freshman fullback Chad Diehl of Lyman, SC and Byrnes High School to return to the team this weekend. "Chad has missed some practice this week because his father had a heart attack. He should rejoin the team this weekend."
Bowden also said that Jamie Cumbie (shoulder) and Landon Walker (knee) came through their respective surgeries well and have already started their rehabilitation. Both are expected to be ready for the opener against Florida State on September 3.
Senior defensive end Kwam Williams and freshmen defensive tackle Miguel Chavis both missed the afternoon practice due to injury. Williams has a foot injury and Chavis has a hip flexor. Their status for Saturday's scrimmage is questionable.