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Clemson Football Practice Brief for August 20

Aug. 20, 1998

CLEMSON, S.C. – It was the first day of school at Clemson on Thursday and it was a day of teaching for the Clemson football team on the practice field. The Tigers worked in shorts without shoulder pads for a couple of hours in the afternoon.

“We had a lot of corrections that we needed to make,” said Head Coach Tommy West. “We worked to correct mistakes we made in Wednesday’s scrimmage. We also needed to take a day off from full contact. We had gone six straight days in full gear and you never do that at any time in the spring or the fall.

“After reviewing the film it looked like we gave good effort yesterday in the scrimmage. We did make mistakes, but not a lot of the same mistakes from the previous scrimmage on Sunday.

“The second-team offensive line made some mistakes, but some of them showed improvement over the first scrimmage. Much of the time we had six freshmen on the second line when you count the tight end. A lot of times it was just one guy messing up and that led to a bad play.”

West said that one first-year freshman had gone home while he waits the results of the NCAA clearinghouse. Akil Smith, freshman offensive lineman who played at Fork Union Military in Virginia last year, has not been approved nor denied by the NCAA clearinghouse. Under NCAA rules he is allowed to practice for 14 days while his case is reviewed by the clearinghouse. “We still expect him to be approved and come back to Clemson,” said West.

Smith is the only freshman waiting word from the clearinghouse. All the other freshmen have been cleared. West said he had no news on junior college transfers Telly Irby and Warren Lott.

West also said that freshman Pat Cyrgalis had been moved from running back to tight end. All three players who were injured in the scrimmage on Wednesday did not practice on Thursday. Darrel Crutchfield (sprained knee) and Matt Butler (sprained ankle) are expected to return to practice soon.

DaMonte McKenzie (sprained knee) could be out for over a week, but West thought he would be back for the Furman game. Matt Bailey (hamstring) and Brian Wofford (sprained foot) missed practice, but could be back for Saturday’s scrimmage.

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