CLEMSON, SC -- Clemson broke out the pads on Wednesday morning for the first time as they continued their preparation for Mississippi St. in the December 30 Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl. During the regular season the Tigers rarely practiced in full pads, but post season practice affords the Tigers this opportunity.
“We probably hadn’t gone with full pads since the fifth week of practice,” Bowden said. “It was good to go full pads again and do a little hitting.”
Most players often think of the bowl game as a reward for a hard fought season, but the Tigers are aware of the work that must be done now to prepare to face a very physical Mississippi St. team in the Georgia Dome.
“Their attitude is good. I think they understand what kind of game it is going to be," Bowden said. "They will be
playing a very physical team. This type of practice will best prepare them to have a chance and I think they understand that.”
The Tigers will have six more practices in Clemson including a scrimmage likely on Thursday and another scrimmage early next week.
No Place Like Clemson
Bowden thinks it is a great testament to Clemson University and the future of the football program that his assistants would turn down some attractive offers to coach elsewhere.
“Until they get exactly what they want this (Clemson) is a nice place to be,” Bowden said. “It says a lot about the school, the environment, the town, and the community.“
This month offensive coordinator, Rich Rodriguez, took his name out of the running to be the next coach of Texas Tech and running back coach, Burton Burns, turned down an offer to be associate head coach at LSU.
Derrick Brantley 6'6", 320 lbs. offensive lineman from SW Mississippi Junior College signed his scholarship papers with Clemson on Wednesday. He also had offers from South Carolina, Tennessee, Florida St, and others. He will enroll in school in January.