Aug. 22, 2005
Clemson, SC – It was a joyous day for the Clemson football team as it was the final day of two-a-day practices. Tommy Bowden’s Tigers worked for two-and-a-half hours in full pads in the morning and two more hours in the afternoon in shorts and shoulder pads.
The Tigers will hold their final scrimmage prior to the Texas A&M game on Tuesday night at Death Valley. The scrimmage is closed to the public.
“We had a good day of practice,” said Bowden, whose Tigers open the season September 3 against Texas A&M in a night game that will be televised by ABC Sports. “We had some spirit at the end. The defense made some plays and started it. They had to be tired, but they were also spirited because they knew it was the last day of double practices.”
All that said, the Tigers will have a long day on Tuesday, the last day before school begins on Wednesday. The team will work out in the weight room in the morning, have position meetings in the afternoon, then scrimmage in the evening. “I want to have a night scrimmage under the lights since we play the opener in that condition. We have to work on catching punts and kickoffs in that setting.”
The Tigers will have Wednesday off, the first day of school, then go back to practice Thursday and Friday with a workout to follow Saturday morning. Bowden talked about the state of his special teams with the media after the second practice. “Nic Riddle has done a good job as a snapper. He and Colin Leonard have both been consistent. We feel comfortable with both. Cole Chason has done a good job as the holder and I think we have found a backup with Tyler Grisham. He has good hands and he gives us more options from a fake standpoint. But those kickers are like a clan, they hang around with each other and have faith in each other.” Chason serves as the holder in addition to serving as Clemson’s starting punter.
The kickoff return job is up for grabs. This has been an area of extreme success for Clemson the last few years thanks to the athletic ability of Justin Miller and Derrick Hamilton. Clemson has ranked in the top 10 in the nation in kickoff returns each of the last four years, including a top five ranking each of the last three years.
“We have a lot of guys with a chance to help us in the return game. Chansi Stuckey and C.J. Gaddis and Duane Coleman would have the best chance to start. We will probably start with Chansi as the punt returner.”
Donnell Clark (ankle), Kwam Williams (ankle), Cole Downer (chest injury), and Kelvin Grant (separated shoulder) were on the injured list on Monday. Christian Capote who had missed the last few days of practice with a knee injury, returned to practice Monday afternoon.
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