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Clemson Opens Practice Friday

Clemson Opens Practice Friday

Aug. 3, 2006

Clemson, SC – Clemson will open its 111th season of college football, its eighth under Head Coach Tommy Bowden, on Friday when the Tigers open fall practice at 6:45 PM on the practice fields behind the Jervey Athletic Center.

All preseason practices are closed to the public.

The Tigers are expected to have 103 players at practice on Friday, but three of the 103 will not go through the workout. Starting punter Cole Chason suffered a cut foot during an accident in his apartment last week and will miss the first week of practice.

Reserve offensive tackle Jamarcus Grant suffered a broken foot while lifting weights last month, an injury that required surgery, and he will probable miss the first game of the season.

Clemson’s roster of players includes 22 seniors, including 13 scholarship seniors who are in their fifth year in the program. Sergio Gilliam, a returning starter at cornerback, suffered a minor knee injury last week during a volunteer workout and will miss Friday’s practice. He is expected to return early next week.

In light of Chason’s injury, Bowden said freshman punter Richard Jackson of Greer, SC and Riverside High School would start the first practice as the number-one punter. Jackson averaged 46 yards per punt as a senior when he was a first-team Parade All-America, the first Parade All-America kicker to come to Clemson since Chris Gardocki in 1988.

Bowden announced that two members of his original 2006 freshman class signee class last February will not come to Clemson this year. Jo Jo Cox, a running back from Jeffersonville, GA and DeAndre McDaniel, a defensive back from Tallahassee, FL, will go to prep schools this year. Freshman wide receiver Kendrick Johnson of Fort Lauderdale, FL is not at Clemson yet, but he is expected to join the program soon. “Today is not met with as much anticipation as it used to be,” said Bowden of the team reporting day. “With today’s rules we have had our freshmen on campus since July and almost all of the veterans have been on campus all summer. But, we are looking forward to the start of practice.”

The forecast is for continued heat with temperatures in the 90s, even at the start of practice at 6:45 PM. “We have scheduled a stop in practice every 30 minutes for a water break. It is something we certainly will monitor during the preseason workouts.”

Bowden will work his team for three hours a day once a day through August 9, the last day of summer school. The first of five days of two-a-day practices is scheduled for August 10. Bowden has already had to move his start time for Friday’s practice from 5:45 Pm to 6:45 PM due to summer school class conflicts.

Fan Appreciation Day is Sunday August 13 at 3:00 PM.