CLEMSON - Any Clemson players hoping to make an impression on head coach Tommy Bowden will get an opportunity to do so, beginning Wednesday.
That's when the Tigers go full pads for the first time this spring, the day that Bowden and his coaching staff can begin to judge who really looks good at each position; not just in shorts.
"A day like (Monday) is all alignments and stance," Bowden said. "Offensive and defensive linemen (and where to) step; where you put your hat, where you put your hands. It's just a slowed down teaching progression of fundamentals right now.
"Chip Myrick has looked good so far, but that's in shorts. How will he look when the pads go on?"
Once the pads go on Bowden's main line of focus remains twofold:
He wants to find some way to spark his running game to the 2,000-yard plateau and beyond. He wants to continue building on the defensive momentum Clemson built at the end of last season.
Is Duane Coleman the go-to running back? Which of the young wide receivers will step forward? What about Anthony Waters at linebacker?
Those are just some of the questions which face Bowden and his staff beginning Wednesday. The final answers won't come until fall, for a number of reasons.
Chief among them is one key missing ingredient - conditioning - which Bowden doesn't consider a factor during the spring.
"I'm not worried about conditioning right now," he said. "The guys have been over in the weight room working on getting bigger and stronger. They're not doing any conditioning work at all, and won't until the fall."
Meanwhile, new offensive line coach Brad Scott is serving notice that his personality will undergo a drastic change now that he's no longer Bowden's offensive coordinator.
"I hope when we come out of spring not only will I know the players better and who our best players are, but also I will know what makes them tick," Scott said. "That's part of being a good line coach. Every kid is a little bit different. I told them before we started my personality as a line coach is a whole different than a tight end coach or a coordinator.
"As a coordinator I don't think you need to always be the guy who is yelling and screaming and all like that. As a line coach you stay focused on things and you are probably going to get after those guys a little more. You will probably hear me being a little more vocal as a line coach than a coordinator, but that's all in the position you are coaching.
IPTAY DATES SET
Following is the most complete list of Clemson's scheduled IPTAY meetings to date:
Tuesday March 16 Aiken, SC
Wednesday March 17 Mrytle Beach, SC
Monday April 12 Lancaster, SC
Tuesday April 13 Rock Hill, SC
Thursday April 15 Greenwood, SC
Monday April 19 Columbia, SC
Tuesday April 20 Charlotte, NC
Wednesday April 21 Sumter, SC
Thursday April 22 Spartanburg, SC
Monday April 26 Greenville, SC
Tuesday April 27 Hartsville, SC
Wednesday April 28 Asheville, NC
Thursday April 29 Huntsville, AL
Monday May 3 Charleston, SC
Tuesday May 4 Savannah, GA
Wednesday May 5 Lexington, SC
Thursday May 6 Tri-Cities, Kingsport, TN
Monday May 10 Richmond, VA
Wednesday May 12 Atlanta, GA
Thursday May 13 Orangeburg, SC
Monday May 17 Walterboro, SC
Wednesday May 19 Raleigh, NC
Thursday May 20 Greensboro, NC
Monday May 24 Newberry, SC
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.