Tigers Battle Heat, Prepare For First Scrimmage

by - Correspondent -

CLEMSON - The stretch of consecutive days practicing without a break finally began to wear on Clemson's players Friday.

Head coach Tommy Bowden said the morning workout, the first of two Friday practices, was the first time this camp that the players "kind of gave in a little to the heat." But to their credit, he said, they bounced back with a strong afternoon workout, building a bit of momentum heading into Saturday's first major scrimmage.

"I think this is the first time I've ever done nine straight days," Bowden said. "Usually there's a Sunday off...It was hot this morning and (they knew) they had another practice. It's the first sign they faltered a little bit.

"But the effort this afternoon was a lot better than it was this morning."

Bowden is hoping to have most of his offensive linemen back and ready for the scrimmage. Only center Bobby Hutchinson (ankle) is definitely out. Center Dustin Fry (hamstring) and guard Nathan Bennett (virus) are probable.

There was also an addition to the offensive line Friday. Chris McDuffie was moved from defensive tackle to offensive tackle.

The scrimmage will also be a chance for Bowden and his coaching staff to begin to make decisions on which freshmen to play this season and which ones to redshirt.

"We'll only put the (third teamers) out there in a limited environment," he said. "But for Rendrick Taylor, Tyler Grisham and some of these other guys who are (second team), yeah, there will be some separation opportunities...There will be some opportunities for some of those guys to solidify their position."

Bowden said the entire scrimmage will be live, from all aspects of the kicking and return game to the actual offense vs. defense work. Only quarterbacks will be protected from live hitting.

The scrimmage begins at 10 a.m. in Death Valley. It is not open to the public.

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