Tigers Return to Practice Fields After Week Off


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CLEMSON, SC -- On a sunny, windy afternoon in Clemson, the Tigers returned to spring
practice after a week off for spring break. The team practiced for 3 and a
half hours in shorts and shoulder pads. The week off may have had as much
effect on practice as the wind.


"To be honest, they looked like a team that just got back from spring
break." Said coach Tommy Bowden. "There were a few missed asignments and
dropped balls. What concerns me more though was that there were a few players
sitting out with injuries that weren't really injured. It's one thing if your
injured, you have to sit out. If your just hurt though, you need to play. The
younger players see the veterans do it and it just set's a bad example."


Among the changes at practice, Pat Cyrgalis worked out with the punting
team for the first time. Cyrgalis, who averaged 46 yards per punt in High
School, will take some snaps and see live rushes next practice. "I don't
know that I saw that much in him that told me he could kick," Said Bowden.
"It's more what I didn't see in any of the other kickers that makes me give
him a look."


In another change, Nick Black replaces Will Merrit at offensive guard.
"He really made a quantum leap," Said Bowden. "He went from third team tackle
to first team guard in one practice. We evaluated friday's practice tape, and
we liked what we saw. He hit's you square in the middle, not on the edge's.
You better remember his name."


Bowden, who has been worried about offensive line play, is encouraged.
"Nick Black is very encouraging. I've been talking about competition on the
offensive line, and this is just what I mean. Derrick Brantley back's him up
on the second team now. he's got some good size at 290-295, and he's very
athletic."


Matt Bailey missed practice with a sprained ankle, and Chad Jasmin missed
practice as well. The team will practice Wednsday and Friday, and then
scrimage on Saturday morning in Death Valley.

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