CLEMSON, SC -- The circle of death put a rather intense end to what was otherwise a light practice Monday for the football team.
The players worked out with no pads and did not do any hitting, but head coach Tommy Bowden said the offense needed to be reminded of the level of intensity required on each play.
So, he broke out the circle of death.
Each player gets in the middle of a circle of players and says, 'My name is so-and-so, and I let the team down three times. I loafed three times.' Then everyone in the circle has to do three up-downs.
That's three times that the players fall chest first to the ground, and then quickly get back up. Then they repeat the process. It sounds infinitely easier than it actually is. After two players have admitted their sins, your arms can't push the body off the ground and your legs don't help much either.
In total, every player on the offense had to do an amazing 270 up-downs based on all the miscues from Saturday’s scrimmage. 270.
“They will be out there for while,” said Bowden. “The defense will have showered, and eaten, gone to study hall and watching Frazier by time these boys get off.”
Spring Scrimmage Not Game
At Tulane Bowden admits that he needed to entertain the crowd with a Spring game to draw fans. But at Clemson he believes the fans will come regardless so he plans to use the game as a learning tool in a scrimmage type environment.
“If I would make it a game like everyone wants then it would be a lost day,” said Bowden. “When I can control the scrimmage…, do some situational things it’s not a lost day. If I were to give the fans what they want, do a kickoff, do a punt, divide the teams equally, and go out there and play a game then it would be a lost day at this point in time. But I’m probably not going to do that.”
How concerned is Bowden with showing too much in the Spring?
“You don’t worry too much about it,” said Bowden. “If we were opening with South Carolina, I would, simply because of the intensity of the rivalry. The spring practice might have been closed had we opened with them. The spring game would have been real generic. Probably would have been one formation and probably one we would not even use in the game."
With that said, Bowden is not going to tip off the Tigers’ opponents on any new facets of his Indy offense for the 2000 season. “There is some new things we put in this spring that we are will not do,” said Bowden. “We will probably be a lot more generic in formations.”
Spoon #1 Tailback?
Despite not much playing time last season Terry Witherspoon may be emerging as the Tigers’ top back coming out of spring practice.
“Witherspoon might be the guy to start against the Citadel because he can stay healthy and take a beating,“ said Bowden. “It doesn’t look like the other guys can get hit. If he is going to stay around and try to graduate in four years and stay to regain his fifth year of eligibility then I need to reward him.”
Redshirt freshman quarterback Willie Simmons would not have practiced if the team had practiced in full pads. However he was able to participate in some drills Monday with the team working out without pads. Unfortunately for Simmons, that included the circle of death.