Clemson, SC—Clemson held a two-and-a-half hour morning practice in full pads on the practice fields behind the Jervey Athletic Center on Monday. Clemson was scheduled to practice twice on Monday, but the second practice was cancelled.
The second practice was cancelled as the result of an NCAA secondary violation. The ACC ruled that Clemson had worn a non-conforming uniform for the first two days of practice last week. As a result, Clemson will have two less practice opportunities in the preseason.
“We had some padding in the girdles we wear underneath our shorts,” said Coach Dabo Swinney. “We never thought it was in violation. We invited the media to the first practice, so we weren’t trying to cover anything up and get an advantage. We accept the ruling and will have just two two-a-day practices during the preseason instead of four.”
As a result Clemson will have just one practice on Monday and Friday this week instead of the two that were scheduled for each day.
Swinney was pleased with Monday’s practice. “I was encouraged by how the team came to practice today,” said Swinney. “They were all ready to go in the hot weather. We had a good finish to the practice with a two-minute drill. So far this team has not practiced just to practice, they have practiced to win.”
Swinney was also pleased with the level of competition he has seen so far this preseason. “Competition brings out the best in everyone. We have seen that in Clemson. The new Chick-fil-A in Clemson has made the other fast foot restaurants pick up the pace and made them better. It is the same thing in football. I am pleased by the competition I am seeing on this team.”
That includes the quarterback position where Willy Korn and Kyle Parker are both listed as co-starters. “ I have no set timetable on when I will name a starting quarterback. It could be the week of the first game, or it could be just before the first snap. We will see if any separation develops after these first two scrimmages (Tuesday and Saturday). But, I have been pleased with the performance of both young men.”
Swinney announced after practice that freshman offensive tackle J.K. Jay will have back surgery on Wednesday and will be lost for the season. He suffered the injury while working out with weights in mid July. Tight end Phillip Price was moved to offensive tackle as a result of Kay’s injury.
Wide receiver Brandon Clear is still out with a rib injury, as is wide receiver Jacoby Ford, who has a pulled hamstring. Andre Branch, who missed practice on Saturday with a concussion was back at practice on Monday.
Swinney also announced that four original walk-ons had been put on scholarship. The new scholarship players are Chris Richardson (DE, Lithia Springs, GA), Ronald Watson, (RB, Mauldin, SC), Caleb Simmons (OG, Lake City, SC), and John Wright (DT, Anderson, SC).
This gives Clemson seven original walk-ons on its 2009 roster. In the spring, Swinney put Phillip Price, Terrence Ashe and Kantrell Brown on scholarship.