Tommy Bowden Signing Day Press Conference

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Tommy Bowden talks with the media today.

Tommy Bowden Press Conference - Real Audio

Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden on....

Overall impressions of the 2003 signees:

"I thought it was a very solid class. We got a quarterback out of
North Carolina (C.J. Gaddis) who committed to us early. At running
back, we got Tramaine Billie and Branden Nolen. We wanted five
offensive linemen and got four. It was really solid from top to
bottom. We could've used one more defensive lineman. "

On the possibility of impact players emerging next year:

"I try not to look too far ahead. We thought last year that Justin
Miller might contribute, but I don't think I made any bold statements
at this time last year about his potential. There will be one or two
who surprise, because it seems like there always is. However, you'd
like to get your program to the stage where none of them have to play
right away."

On the availability of scholarships:

"I believe we have 21 scholarships open. We've signed 17 and then
we're planning on giving scholarships to Tommy Sharpe and Geoff
Rigsby, two former walk-ons who played a great deal this past year.
Those two guys takes us up to 19 filled scholarships. We also want
to give one to Tony Elliott.

" It looks like the state of South Carolina is going to have a pretty
significant crop of prospects next year, almost like the class from
two years ago. So you can offer scholarships to walk-ons and then
get that number back next year."

On the possibility of red-shirting the class:

"I would like to red-shirt everybody. I really feel like you can get
your program more stable that way. Two years ago, we played 14 total
freshmen (including red-shirts). Last year, Justin Miller was the
only one (first-year freshman) to play. We'll go into the season
trying to do that."

On JUCO cornerback Brian Staley:

"We lost a really productive player in Brian Mance. We have to find
a quality replacement as soon as we can because we open up at home
here with Georgia right off the bat. We'll compete with who we've
got in the spring, and somebody will nail down the other cornerback
spot. Then we'll bring him in to see if he can beat those guys out.
He's got some good experience against quality competition. He comes
from a really good program that's been successful. He'll be prepared
and mature enough to come in and compete for a position early."

On Crestwood signee Maurice Nelson:

"He's in between that glorified safety and whip linebacker position.
He played several positions in high school. He's a real active
player who made a lot of tackles. Having his brother Roosevelt here
will give him a good idea of the intensity that is required. With
the loss of Eric Sampson and Ronny Delusme being hurt, there will be
some opportunities for playing time there."

Position Changes once Spring Practice Starts

"We are going to move Tye Hill to a cornerback position and
Gerald McCloud to a safety position. We saw Gerald in our camp as a
defensive player and we were impressed. Tye has the speed and
quickness to help us in the secondary. We will see how he does in
the spring. He will also compete for our track team this spring.

Defensive Coaching Assignments for 2003

"David Blackwell will coach the linebackers. Jack Hines will
coach the Whip and roverback positions. John Lovett will coach the
secondary and Thielen Smith will coach the down linemen.

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