News and notes from Wednesday's practice

by - Senior Writer -
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Swinney said Tajh Boyd had his best day of the spring.
Swinney said Tajh Boyd had his best day of the spring.

CLEMSON – One more practice and the spring game are all that remain of Clemson’s spring practice and Wednesday’s practice ended with a physical set of drills that led one observer to ponder – as she watched the players leave the practice - if “all of the players were bleeding.”

Clemson head coach Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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said it was a good practice as spring practice nears completion.

“We finished up practice today with some good, tough practice,” Swinney said. “We did some Paw Drills and had some competitive defensive back and wideout work that created some good energy and enthusiasm. We also did a little half-scrimmage and worked on some situations. We did some ‘milk the clock’ and ‘third-and-two-to-win’ type of stuff, just trying to challenge them. We focused on some areas we need to improve. We have a lot of teaching and a lot of coaching to do with a lot of guys. Today was a physical day, a solid day as we get close to end of spring.”

Swinney said both the offense and defense had their highlights.

“I thought Tajh [Boyd] had his best day of the spring,” he said. “It was his best day of practice. D.J. HowardD.J. Howard
RS Fr. Running Back
#22 5-11, 195
Lincoln, AL

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had an excellent day. Defensively, we gave up some big plays but kept them out of the end zone and held them to some field goals for the most part. This has been a solid spring. We have a long way to go to be a championship-type of football team.

“I met with the seniors today and gave a real challenge to them and the other leadership guys on this team to go and have a great summer. Tomorrow night, we will have our last practice in shorts. We will do some individual type of stuff. Then we will separate the team and the staff and get everybody organized. The [spring] game is on TV, so we want to make sure everything is crisp and not sloppy.”

Swinney said that the Tigers definitely won’t open up the playbook on Saturday, not with opposing coaches able to film the game.

“We will be very vanilla,” he said. “On both sides of the ball. That is kind of the nature of spring games now with the TV coverage and stuff. The biggest thing for me is just seeing the guys execute whatever is called, just execute the play and line up properly and go compete. I am anxious to see our guys in the trenches. The first half will be like a normal game, and the second half will be more of where we run the clock. We are not going to ask them to do a lot, so the execution should be high.”

Other notes from the practice:

*Secondary coach Charlie Harbison will be the head coach of one team, while defensive ends coach Marion Hobby will coach the other team. The teams will be picked Thursday morning.

*Swinney said the offensive line was the unit that he feels has shown the most improvement this spring.

“If I just had to single out a position, I would say the offensive line,” he said. “We feel like we have good players, but when you graduate three very experienced starters, that is cause for concern. I am just really encouraged by the guys I have seen emerge, and I am very encouraged by the guys behind them.”

*Running back Mike BellamyMike Bellamy
Fr. Running Back
#5 5-10, 175
Nocatee, FL

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had a 75-yard touchdown during the practice, catching a swing pass out of the backfield and taking it the distance. Running back D.J. Howard, when asked about Bellamy after practice, said, “He is the quickest player I have ever seen. In the open field, he is unstoppable.”

*Kicker Chandler CatanzaroChandler Catanzaro
RS So. Punter / Kicker
#39 6-2, 200
Greenville, SC

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is still perfect this spring. He told the media Wednesday that he has made every competitive kick this spring, and most of them have been down the middle. The only time he came close to missing a kick was during Monday’s scrimmage, when he bounced a kick off the right upright. The ball bounced through, however, keeping his record intact. Catanzaro said he will once again work with former NFL kicker Morten Andersen this summer.

*Swinney said that wide receiver Charone PeakeCharone Peake
Fr. Wide Receiver
#19 6-3, 205
Moore, SC

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has really progressed this spring and is working behind Nuk Hopkins.

*MLB Stephone AnthonyStephone Anthony
Fr. Linebacker
#12 6-3, 235
Polkton, NC

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was sporting a heavy cast on his right hand, the result of an injury and surgery last week. From what we understand, the injury happened in 1-on-1 drills, and his hand got caught in the facemask of fellow linebacker Spencer ShueySpencer Shuey
RS So. Linebacker
#33 6-3, 250
Charlotte, NC

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. He should be able to return to football activities in five weeks or so.

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