Following Friday’s practice, it had already been established that freshman running back James Davis was not back on campus. Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden did not retract one thing, he said about Davis’ situation on Thursday, although he was asked the same question repeatedly by one reporter.
“Yesterday, we said Friday or Saturday, I believe is what I said yesterday,” repeated Bowden.
Coach Bowden also stated on Friday that reports that Davis was unhappy with playing time and openly talking about transferring were unfounded.
“I don’t get that, maybe you know something I don’t. He was the leading rusher in the first scrimmage. I doubt there is much substance to that. I have talked with members of the family today. He could still participate in the scrimmage,” said Bowden.
On Friday, Coach Bowden awarded scholarships to three walk-ons. After a winter and spring, full of concerns from fans about numbers, the coach reached his 85 scholarship limit by awarding scholarships to tight ends Cole Downer and Thomas Hunter and will linebacker Lionel Richardson.
“All three are potential starters. Cole and Lionel, and even Thomas Hunter in certain formations. All are seniors, they are all doing well in the classroom and are solid citizens. They are guys that walked on and paid the price,” said Bowden.
Coach Bowden said there will not be any discipline in this situation for Davis. He said there was no prior discipline in the cases of Bernard Rambert, William Henry, and Cedric Johnson. Rambert missed 10 days and still played as a true freshman.
“His situation would be very similar to Bernard. Bernard still played his freshman season, so I would say it is very similar,” said Bowden.
Following practice, it appeared the players were practicing a National Championship celebrations. As the media watched from a distance, Coach Bowden was lifted up on a few players shoulders and carried around the practice field.
“Ah, I just called off the conditioning runs today. I can’t believe they still fall for it. I had Joey go through a really really tough and physical conditioning, and then blew the whistle. It is really sadistic to do that to those guys. It is kind of fun though,” Bowden said laughing.
Clemson will hold its second full scrimmage on Saturday from 10-1 in Death Valley (closed to media and public).