Sept. 13, 2001
Clemson, SC – Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden said Thursday that senior defender Braxton K. Williams had been moved to free safety. Williams has played linebacker throughout his Clemson career. The move was made after injuries to the free safety position.
“He looked very good, it was very encouraging,” said Bowden of Williams, who nine tackles in two games as a linebacker this year. “With injuries to Marcus Houskin and Eric Meekins we thought it was important to put an experienced player back there. He is well suited for the position and seemed to adapt very well.”
Houskin, a sophomore, suffered a broken neck against Wofford and is out for the season. He had surgery to fuse two vertebra in his neck on Thursday and is lost for the season. Clemson physicians said the surgery went well and he could be out of the Anderson hospital by Saturday.
The free safety position suffered another injury on Tuesday when Eric Meekins, the starter at free safety in the opener against Central Florida, suffered ligament damage to the pinky finger on his right hand. He had surgery to correct the problem on Thursday. He will be back at practice on Monday and should play against Virginia.
Bowden said, given the circumstances, his team had a productive week of practice. “It was a good week, we worked hard and got a lot accomplished,” said Bowden. “We had some other injuries this week and I am not sure those players could have played.”
Starting guard Will Merritt suffered a back injury on Wednesday and was in a yellow jersey on Thursday. He should be back at practice on Monday. Merritt was the ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week against Wofford. Starting defensive tackle Nick Eason had a sore Achilles tendon, but should also return.
The Tigers will workout from 5:30 AM to 7:30 AM on Friday morning. The team will then have the rest of the weekend off and return to practice on Monday in preparation for the Virginia game, a 5:45 PK kickoff at Death Valley on September 22.
Other Notes: Reminder that the Tommy Bowden TV shoe that runs every Sunday throughout the state will not be produced this week. The show will be made up at the end of the year when the Duke game is rescheduled.
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