Thursday Practice Report

by - Senior Writer -

CLEMSON – The Clemson Tigers completed their first day of practice in shells on Thursday afternoon, and head coach Dabo Swinney said he was pleased with the team’s effort after the nearly three-hour session.

“We had a good day of practice,” Swinney said. “The receivers showed progress today and there is a strong competition going on there. Jacoby Ford is obviously the leader, but Marquan Jones has done very well and is poised to have a standout year. Kyle Johnson made a nice catch on a long pass today from Willy Korn, and Terrence Ashe has looked good as well. The receivers are competing hard.”

Swinney also made a point of singling out tight end Dwayne Allen.

"He had a big-time day," Swinney said. "He made a couple of nice grabs, made some nice blocks, and just competed really well."

There was no tackling as the Tigers went through the third day of installing their offensive and defensive schemes, with the offensive playbook expanding by about 20 plays per day. Swinney ended the practice with a four-period (20 minute) offense vs. defense competition that drew several shouts and cheers that could be heard in the Jervey parking lot.

Swinney also said that it was good to see Rendrick Taylor running around and making plays.

“He stood out again today,” Swinney said. “He is really a load to tackle, but he is light on his feet. He is out there running over people, and I would hate to be a cornerback and see him coming at me. At 265 pounds, that is something to see. He will see action at a number of positions. He ran hard today. Dwayne Allen also stood out at tight end. He caught a long pass from Tajh Boyd and made some other nice catches.

“On defense, Scotty Cooper made some plays in coverage situations and DeAndre McDaniel had an interception on a pass over the middle.”

Swinney also said the kickers had a good day, saying that, “Both Dawson Zimmerman and Richard Jackson had a good day punting the ball. They had hang time between 4.6 and 4.7 and that is what you want. We should be good on special teams overall. With C.J. Spiller and Jacoby Ford we should have the best return combination in the country.”

*Wide receiver Jacoby Ford was held out of practice again on Thursday with his hamstring problem, but said he hopes to return next week. “I am responding to the treatment really well,” Ford said. “They think I will be ready next week some time. But everything is going good. I kind of miss being out there on the field, but I am trying to keep my head up and be an inspiration for my guys.” Ford said he ran at 100 percent on Thursday and had no problems. “I gave it a full burst today and it didn’t bother me at all.”

*Offensive tackle J.K. Jay also missed the practice. Jay is out with a back injury, but had a spinal block earlier this week that he hopes will get him back on the field. He ran on the side during practice.

*Fullback Chad Diehl said he hasn’t seen any action on the defensive side of the ball as of yet, and it hasn’t been mentioned. During the spring, it was mentioned that Diehl could see time at linebacker on goal line situations. However, Diehl said that he HAS been lining up in the backfield with Rendrick Taylor in offensive goal line situations, with Diehl acting as the blocking back for Taylor.

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