Tigers Move Williamson to Defense

by - Correspondent -

CLEMSON - Bobby Williamson's first quarterback sack as a defensive end came in front of a captive audience Wednesday afternoon.

No fewer than 14 Clemson players missed practice due to injury, watching from the sidelines in yellow jerseys. Most of the injuries were minor, the result of two full-scale scrimmages within a period of four days.

But one appears to have derailed a promising story that had been shaping up during fall camp. Freshman defensive tackle Rashaad Jackson (Union) suffered a broken foot during Tuesday's scrimmage. Head coach Tommy Bowden said the injury means Jackson likely will be redshirted this season.

"That pretty much removes him from the equation," Bowden said. He went on to add that Jackson's injury likely means fellow freshman Dorrell Scott will play in 2004, bolstering the depth of the defensive line.

"He's the only one left standing," Bowden said.

Meanwhile, Williamson's move from tight end came as something of a surprise, though defensive coordinator John Lovett was hoping to make a depth-related move after the broken arm suffered by Vontrell Jamison.

Jamison is hopeful of returning to practice next week and perhaps being ready for the season opener Sept. 4 vs. Wake Forest. But with none of that certain Lovett wanted to make a move, and Williamson was chosen to switch positions.

He began Tuesday's practice second on the depth chart behind Charles Bennett, and made a rather auspicious debut by recording a sack during shell drills.

"Watching Bobby physically, 260 pounds, 6-3 1/2, very athletic and (he's) a tough kid," Lovett said. "He wasn't doing a whole lot as far as reps and we had some guys banged up...So we said 'How can we help this football team?' (Williamson) was the best choice."

The emergence of redshirt freshman Zach Green as a backup to starting tight end Ben Hall made the move easier, Bowden said. But it was also due to Williamson's upside and the desire to find a way for him to play.

"He's a pretty good player not getting in much," Bowden said. "We felt like this was an opportunity to get him on the field."

The other players missing Wednesday's practice due to injury were:

Tye Hill (turf toe), Ryan Charpia (sprained foot), Brandon Pilgrim (pulled groin), Chip Myrick (mononucleosis), Vontrell Jamison (broken arm), Kevin Burnette (recovering from spring surgery for torn ACL), Kwam Williams (sprained ankle), Mo Fountain (bruised knee), Christian Capote (sprained ankle), Michael Collins (leg), Rashaad Jackson (broken
foot), Duane Coleman (broken foot), Roy Walker (torn ACL), Gene Pate (recovering from broken leg).

Dan Scott covers Clemson University for the Seneca Daily Journal/Clemson Messenger. He also hosts SportsTalk from 9 a.m.-Noon, Monday-Friday, on WCCP-Fm, 104.9. Click here for Dan Scott's SportsTalk discussion board.

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