Monday, August 11, 2003

Training camp: Weekend update

Sunday was Fan Day at Clemson, a chance for the players to take a break from summer workouts and meet the people who make Tiger football possible. The hopes and expectations fans have pinned on quarterback Charlie Whitehurst figured prominently in a couple of newspaper accounts of the day's festivities.

IT'S HITTIN' TIME: Clemson is working out in full pads now, and coach Tommy Bowden held a short-yardage scrimmage Saturday. As is typical for this time of the year, the defense was ahead of the offense.

HOT SEAT UPDATE: Speaking of Bowden, the Charlotte Observer has a good story on Clemson's beleaguered football coach. It sounds like he's more than ready to wash the taste of the 55-15 Tangerine Bowl loss to Texas Tech out of his mouth. He'd better be, or he may find himself looking for a new job.

GETTING A's IN CHEMISTRY: One thing that will help Bowden this year is a cohesive team with a fighting attitude. It looks like he's got just that.

SCRAPPY DUDE: Even the young players are copping an attitude. Freshman offensive lineman Nathan Bennett talks a lot of smack, and that's a good thing:

"We haven't had that in a while," said Clemson offensive coordinator Brad Scott. "I think (Bennett) is a guy that plays with a little more intensity. He likes to hit until the whistle, and he'll go downfield and pick a guy off the top of the pile and all that. I haven't seen a guy play like that since Theo Mougros when we were first here (in 1999)."

In fact, Bennett could become the first freshman starter on the line since 1994.

AUBURN PULLS OUT: As reported the other day, Clemson won't be playing Auburn in 2006 and 2007. The Alabama school is hoping to add an extra home game to help pay for $30 million in stadium renovations.

McCLINTON FAINTS AGAIN: Defensive tackle Todd McClinton is still suffering mysterious fainting spells. I hope he's OK.

HIGH-TECH TIGERS: Clemson's coaching staff is finally making good use of them there computer thingees. Good Lord. Am I the only one who's a little disturbed that it's 2003 and the coaches are JUST NOW STARTING TO USE computers!?!?

THE BROTHERS NELSON: That's Roosevelt and Maurice, and they look out for each other.

HOWARD GETS HUGER: Senior defensive end J.J. Howard bulked up over the off-season, and the Clemson staff thinks he could be an impact player this year.

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