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Football Practice Brief

Aug. 18, 2000

CLEMSON, S.C. — The return of Will Merritt to the practice fields was the highlight of Clemson’s workout on Friday. Tommy Bowden decided to have his team look at film in the morning and hold just one shorts-and-helmets practice in the afternoon.

Merritt, who had had tests run earlier in the week to check a slow resting heart beat and a virus, was cleared to return to the practice fields and went through the normal three hour (including stretching and conditioning drills) practice. “Will has been cleared to play and was back on the practice fields today,” said Bowden. “He will play in the scrimmage on Saturday (as our starting left guard).”

Clemson will hold a scrimmage that will be closed to public on Saturday morning. “We will have a long practice in the stadium and will take a long look at the kicking game and all special teams. We will also see who can make some plays among the special teams players.

“I wouldn’t look for Rod Gardner, Robert Carswell and Keith Adams to play a lot of plays, but I am anxious to see some of the younger players get some work. I am anxious to see Greg Walker, Keith Kelly, Kevin Youngblood and some others.”

Ten players missed the shorts and helmet practice on Friday. The list included Rod Gardner (turf toe), Kyle Young (foot), Justin Watts (knee), Derrick Hamilton (hamstring), Altroy Bodrick (ankle), Keith Adams (hamstring), Keith Kelly (hip flexor), and Aaron Hunt (hip flexor). Watts, Young, Hamilton, Harper, Page and Kelly are questionable for the scrimmage on Saturday.

Notes: Sophomore wide receiver Joe Don Reames hopes to be in front of a television set on Sunday. His brother, pitcher Britt Reames, has been called up to the St. Louis Cardinals and will start against the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday afternoon….Graduate student running back Terry Witherspoon continues to make progress from a conditioning standpoint. After the Friday afternoon practice he successful ran the circumference of the playing field in 55 seconds on his fifth and final lap, his fastest time of the August workouts….Bowden has said Witherspoon would be a factor in the tailback derby if he gets to the high 240s in terms of his body weight…Clemson preseason All-American Robert Carswell will be one of the featured players on the Playboy All-America team special that will be shown on WSPA TV 7 in Spartanburg on August 26th at 12:00 Noon.

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