Aug. 9, 2002
The Clemson football team held its first full squad practice Friday morning and followed up with a two-and-a half hour session in the afternoon in preparation for the 2002 season. The team practiced both sessions in shoulder pads and shorts. Head Coach Tommy Bowden was impressed after getting his first look at the full squad.
“The guys worked really hard,” said Bowden. “They’re in pretty good shape. We come out in pretty good shape from day one, thanks to Joey Batson and the conditioning staff. The biggest objective is to get guys lined up in the right spot.”
Bowden said he and his staff focused on teaching assignments and stance fundamentals during the first day. The head coach also stressed the importance of turnovers on both sides of the ball.
“Developing good stance gives you a good chance technique-wise to be successful,” he said. We talked real hard about working on turnovers. We didn’t have any turnovers in the skeleton, which is good for the offense but bad for the defense.”
Offensive Coordinator Brad Scott was impressed by the defense, which also welcomed newcomer Donnell Clark. Clark was cleared by the NCAA Thursday and saw action on the defensive line Friday.
“The defense looked very good,” said Scott. “The front four put a lot of pressure on us. You can see that they’re playing with a lot of spirit and a lot of confidence out there under Coach [John] Lovett.”
Three Tigers missed the afternoon practice with a variety of injuries. Wide receiver Kevin Youngblood suffered a sprained foot and X-rays showed no fracture. Tight end Bobby Williamson pulled a calf muscle and freshman defensive end Vontrell Jamison suffered from dehydration. The status of all three players for tomorrow’s was unknown after Friday evening.
The team will once again hold a morning and afternoon practice session on Saturday. Both sessions are closed to the public. Fans can get their first look at the 2002 Tigers on Sunday during Fan Appreciation Day. Festivities begin at 3:00 PM on the concourse under the South stands of Memorial Stadium. Fans will be able to meet and get autographs from every Tiger player until 5:00 PM.
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