Tigers Prepare While Hurricane Woes Linger

by - Correspondent -

CLEMSON - While preparing for Saturday's season opener with Texas A&M has been the main focus for Clemson this week, some attention has been drawn elsewhere.

Hurricane Katrina, which devastated much of the Gulf Coast earlier this week, played havoc with the everyday lives of a number of Tigers. Chief among them was running backs coach Burton Burns, whose family was hit hard in Louisiana.

"I think both his brother and his mother lost their houses," head coach Tommy Bowden said. "They're safe, but apparently their houses are gone."

The families of linebacker Nick Watkins and wide receiver Curtis Baham have been displaced, as well. Baham's family was en route to Clemson for Saturday's game, and according to Bowden will take up temporary housing in a place provided by former Tiger Khaleed Vaughn.

Bowden, who coached at Tulane in New Orleans, said that most of the people he knows from the area made it out safely.

"They left," he said. "They're out."

On the field, Bowden said he wouldn't be ready to name starters at some of the contested positions until perhaps Thursday. But he did give a hint about the running back slot.

"It's going to be by committee, but if I had to guess today I'd say the starter would be Reggie (Merriweather)," he said.

Tight end Bobby Williamson (ankle) was able to go through more of an extended workout Wednesday, but remains somewhere between questionable and doubtful for Saturday's game, Bowden said.

He, along with wide receiver Kelvin Grant (shoulder), will go through Saturday's pregame routine before final decisions are made about their status.

Dan Scott covers Clemson University for the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Seneca Daily Journal/Clemson Messenger and TigerNet. 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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