Aug. 18, 2005
Clemson, SC – Clemson practiced twice on Thursday on the practice fields behind the Jervey Athletic Center.
It was the next to the last day of two-a-days for the Tigers in the preseason camp. Tommy Bowden’s team will practice once on Friday, then have a scrimmage in Death Valley on Saturday. The final day of double practices will be Monday. The team will have another scrimmage on Tuesday, then take Wednesday off, the first day of class at Clemson.
Freshman running back James Davis was absence from the two practices, as he returned home to Atlanta for personal reasons. He is expected to be back for Friday’s practice. “James Davis is no different from Bernard Rambert, Cedric Johnson or William Henry,” said Bowden, listing players who have left preseason camp for various personal reasons. “They were all players who left at some point in the preseason because they were homesick. It is common, something you see everywhere in the country.”
Davis had been seeing time with the number-two offense at running back and carried the ball 10 times in last Saturday’s scrimmage, more than any other player. Thursday was the first day that he had missed any practice. Bowden had repeatedly praised the freshman for his play throughout the preseason. “If I were making a short list of first-year freshmen who would not red-shirt he would be on it,” said Bowden.
Bowden said starting defensive end Charles Bennett also missed the practice due to a death in the family. He also expects defensive tackle Dorell Scott to return to practice on Friday after missing much of the week due to personal reasons.
Clemson’s head coach also announced that Zach Green, a reserve offensive tackle who lettered last year as a red-shirt freshman tight end, would miss the season. Green has been out of practice since the first day due to an abdominal program. He will remain a Clemson student in the fall and hopes to return to the gridiron next season.
Bowden continued to praise his freshmen class on Thursday. “Philip Merling continues to do well at defensive end. He has the size and the motor. He made some of his best plays at the end of the second practice of the day. That tells you something.”
On the positive side from an injury front, both Frys were in orange jerseys and practiced on Thursday. Both Dustin Fry and Roman Fry had missed practice over with last week with hamstring problems. Both saw time working at center with the number-one offense. Roman is also competing for a starting offensive guard position.
Anthony Waters returned to practice on Thursday after missing the last couple of days with turf toe. Christian Capote (knee) and Kelvin Grant (separated shoulder) also missed the workouts on Thursday. Cory Groover suffered a shoulder injury in the morning practice and was in a yellow jersey for the afternoon workout. He should return soon.
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