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Clemson Spring Game Saturday at Riggs Field at 1:30 PM

Clemson Spring Game Saturday at Riggs Field at 1:30 PM

April 4, 2003

Clemson will hold its annual Spring Football Game Saturday at 1:30 PM at Riggs Field. The contest will close spring practice for Tommy Bowden’s fifth Clemson team. The event will be held at Riggs Field for the second consecutive year. Admission to the scrimmage will be free of charge. The day’s action will begin when the men’s soccer team plays host to Wingate in a spring exhibition match at Riggs Field at 11:00 AM. The Spring Game will follow at 1:30 PM. Another soccer match against Southern Wesleyan will follow at 7:00 PM.

The spring game will feature a situational scrimmage similar to recent years. The offense will be in orange and the defense will be in white. The team will practice special teams, but in isolated situations. The offense will start drives at scripted yard lines. The scrimmage is expected to last close to two hours. Riggs Field was the home of Clemson football from 1915-41.

Both the Clemson men’s and women’s soccer programs call the facility home now. It has been converted to a football field, complete with goalposts, for Saturday’s game. It will be the second time since the final home game of the 1941 season that the Clemson varsity football team has played a football game on Riggs Field. In addition to last year’s spring game, the Clemson freshman team played the Duke freshmen team there in 1968.

Spring Game Programs will be on sale for $4 and the 2003 football posters will be available free of charge.

Prior to the game, Clemson will present its fall and winter sports awards. Nick Eason, Bryant McNeal, Justin Miller, Jackie Robinson and J.J. McKelvey are among the football players who will receive awards. Basketball players Edward Scott and Chrissy Floyd are among the athletes in other sports who will also be honored. The Clemson baseball team will also be in action on Saturday following the Spring Game against Virginia at Kingsmore Stadium . The first pitch is scheduled for 4:00 PM. Tickets to that game are priced at $5 for adults and $2 for children.

The Clemson men’s and women’s track teams will play host to the Clemson Invitational, an event that will go on prior to and after the Spring football game. Football players Airese Currie and Tye Hill are expected to participate in both the track meet and the spring football game.

Athletic Events Saturday, April 5 11:00 AM – Clemson men’s soccer vs. Wingate at Riggs Field 1:00 PM – Clemson Invitational men’s and women’s Track Meet at Norman Track 1:30 PM – Clemson Spring Football Game at Riggs Field 4:00 PM – Clemson vs. Virginia baseball game at Kingsmore Stadium 7:00 PM – Clemson men’s soccer vs. Southern Wesleyan at Riggs Field

Sunday, April 6 12:00 Noon – Women’s tennis vs. Florida State at Sloan Tennis Center 1:00 PM – Baseball vs. Virginia at Kingsmore Stadium

Campus Events Saturday morning, April 5, also marks the grand reopening of newly renovated Hardin Hall with ceremonies beginning at 9 AM. There will be a presentation on southern music at 10:30 and one on 19th century southern religion at 11:30, with tours of the building going on all morning. Hardin is the oldest classroom building on campus. It has been a part of the lives of countless alumni. Come join faculty in history and philosophy and see what it looks like now! And on your way up the hill to campus, stop in and see Fort Hill, the Calhoun mansion and the oldest building on campus, which also reopened March 31 after two years of extensive preservation work.

Parking Information The following parking lots and roads will be closed Friday, April 4, at 4:30 p.m. in preparation for Saturday’s Spring Game to be played at 1 p.m. at Riggs Field:

E-5 lot at Heisman Street, adjacent to the motor pool andfacilities offices Service road to the fraternity quad, betweenRiggs Field and the fraternity residence halls E-11 lot behind MellHall

On Saturday, April 5, beginning at 8 a.m. barricades will limit access to Klugh Avenue and Heisman. Only those with special placards will be allowed into this area until after the end of the game.

The P-3 lot behind Jervey Athletic Center has been designated as visitor parking for the football game.

Television The game will be televised on a tape delayed basis by Comcast/Charter. The contest, which will be played Saturday, April 5 at Riggs Field at 1:30 PM, will first be shown on April 12 at 5:00 PM and again on April 15 at 12:30 PM. There will be re-air dates throughout the spring and summer.

Comcast/Charter is available on cable systems in South Carolina in Anderson, Belton, Charleston, Gray Court, Greenville, Spartanburg, Hampton, Newberry, Union, West Pelzer, Six Mile and Whitmire. Selected Comcast Cable companies in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee will also show the broadcast on a delay basis. Pete Yanity, sports director at WSPA TV in Spartanburg, will provide the play-by-play and former Clemson offensive lineman Will Merritt will provide the color commentary. Merritt is now host of his own sports talk show on WCCP in Clemson.

Clemson Spring Game Notes Currie, Hill to have ActiveSaturday Airese Currie and Tye Hill will have a busy day onSaturday, April 5. Both Clemson football players also will run inthe Clemson Invitational track meet at the Rock Norman Track thesame day. Both have been two sport athletes at Clemson the last twoyears.

Currie will run the anchor leg on Clemson’s 4X100 meter relay team in an event that starts at 1:30 PM, the same time the Clemson Spring Game is scheduled to kick off. At the conclusion of the relay event, Currie will go to the locker room in the Jervey Athletic Center and change into his football uniform. He will then go to Riggs Field, where he should be in action by the second quarter of the football game.

At the conclusion of the football game, Currie will go back to the Jervey Athletic Center, change back into his track uniform and compete in the 200 meters, which is scheduled to run at 4:20 PM.

Hill will start his day in a football uniform, playing in the spring game from the start as a starting cornerback, then leave with Currie immediately after the football game and also compete in the 200 meters.

Currie was an All-American in outdoor track on Clemson’s 4X100 meter relay team that finished second in the nation last year at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. He was All-ACC in the 60 meters during this past indoor season. Hill also competed for the Clemson indoor track team this past winter and had the second best time in the 60 meters (6.77) over the course of the season.

On the gridiron, Currie is fifth in Clemson history in career yards per reception. He had 16 catches last year for 282 yards and three touchdowns. For his career he has 34 catches for 602 and four scores. Hill was Clemson’s third leading rusher last year as a red-shirt freshman with 225 yards on just 42 attempts, a 5.4 average. He led the team in yards per rush.

Clemson Personnel Update

Toure Francis (CB) suffered a torn ACL 12 plays into the seasonopener with Georgia last year and was lost for the season. He hasgone through drills during the spring, but has not had any contactand will not play in the spring game. Kelvin Grant (WR) suffered abruised knee during spring practice and is questionable for thespring game. Ronny Delusme (ROV) suffered a torn ACL againstMaryland on November 16 and has not practiced this spring. He willnot play in the spring game. Tim DeBeer (OT) suffered adislocated ankle during a spring practice and will not play in thespring game. He should be back for August practice. Kelvin Morris(LB) suffered a knee injury during a practice this spring. He hadsurgery on Friday to repair cartilage damage. During that surgeryit will be determined if he needs more surgery. Todd McClinton(DT)-suffered a seizure after lifting weights and prior to practicethis past Wednesday. All tests have been negative, but he will notplay in the spring game.

Blackwell Named Clemson Assistant Head Coach Tommy Bowden’s has announced that David Blackwell, most recently the linebackers coach at the University of Pittsburgh, has joined his staff at Clemson. Blackwell, a native of Greenville and a graduate of Berea High School, fills the opening on Bowden’s staff that was created when Rodney Allison left Clemson in December to become the head coach at UT Chattanooga. He will serve as Clemson’s linebackers coach and as recruiting coordinator.

Blackwell, 31, had been with the Pittsburgh program each of the last three years under Head Coach Walt Harris. He was a big part of the Panthers resurgence on the gridiron the last three years. Pittsburgh went to a bowl game each year, including 2002 when the Panthers defeated Oregon State in the Insight Bowl, 38-13.

That victory gave Pittsburgh a 9-4 record and a #18 final ranking in the ESPN/ USA Today Coach’s poll, a #19 ranking by Associated Press. The Pittsburgh defense had a lot to do with the Panthers success, as the point prevention unit ranked 14th in the nation in scoring defense, 12th in total defense, 15th in pass efficiency defense and 24th in rushing defense.

“We are very excited to have David join our staff,” said Bowden. “Pittsburgh has made a strong improvement over the last three years and David has had a lot to do with that. He is an outstanding coach on the field, and is also a terrific recruiter. As I made my background checks on him, his abilities as a recruiter were a consistent theme. Prior to his career at Pittsburgh he was the recruiting coordinator at Illinois State for four years. He obviously knows this area of the country.

“We have not determined which position he will coach, but we know he will be a part of our defensive staff.”

The performance of the Pittsburgh linebackers certainly had a lot to do with the team’s success in recent years. Gerald Hayes was an All-American and three-time all-conference selection under Blackwell. He had at least 100 tackles each of the last three seasons. Six of his players during previous coaching positions have signed NFL contracts. More should join the league this year.

Blackwell worked as a defensive assistant coach at Illinois State for four seasons prior to coming to Pittsburgh. He was the defensive line coach in 1996 and 1997 and the linebackers coach in 1998 and 1999. He was the recruiting coordinator all four seasons and had recruiting priorities in Florida and central Illinois.

Over his four years in Normal, IL, Blackwell coached three All-Americans and 11 all-conference players. In 1996 his defensive line accounted for 38 of the team’s 47 sacks, the second highest total in school history. The 1999 team finished number-two in the nation at the Division I-AA level with a school best 11-3 record. The team also won the school’s first ever conference championship. In 1999, Galen Scott, one of Blackwell’s linebackers, had 173 tackles, including 27 in one game, both school records. Scott was named an All-American that season.

Blackwell began his college football experience at East Carolina. He came to the Greenville, NC based school in 1990 as a freshman offensive lineman. That season he graded 85 percent in a game against Florida State. In 1991, a year in which East Carolina posted an 11-1 record and a #9 ranking in the final AP poll, Blackwell suffered a career ending neck injury. The following season, Blackwell served as an undergraduate assistant coach with the Pirates. In 1993-94-95 he coached the rush end linebackers. He helped East Carolina to two Liberty Bowl berths during that time.

Blackwell is a 1997 graduate of East Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science degree. He is married to the former Melissa Androutsos.

Swinney Named Wide Receivers Coach Clemson Head Football Coach Tommy Bowden’s announced the addition of Dabo Swinney (pronounced DA-boh SWEE-nee) to the coaching staff Monday, March 17. Swinney, who is replacing East Carolina’s new offensive coordinator Rick Stockstill, will coach Clemson’s wide receivers.

“Dabo Swinney is an outstanding addition to our staff,” said Bowden. “I was his position coach when I was at Alabama. He came in as a walk-on and earned a scholarship. I have first-hand knowledge of his work ethic. He played on a national championship team at Alabama.

“As a coach, he is an outstanding teacher who has learned the game from some outstanding coaches, including Homer Smith, who had a positive effect on my career. His resumas a recruiter is most impressive. He signed 30 players in his career at Alabama.”

Swinney, 33, received a bachelor of science degree in commerce and business administration at Alabama in 1993 after lettering three times for the Crimson Tide (1990-92). A walk-on who went on to earn a scholarship, Swinney played at wide receiver and was a member of Alabama’s 1992 National Championship team under Gene Stallings. His position coach was Bowden in 1989 and former Tiger assistant Woody McCorvey from 1990-92. Swinney was also an All-SEC Academic team and SEC Scholar Athlete Honor Roll member in both 1990 and 1992.

Along with his appearance in the 1993 Sugar Bowl, his team played in the 1991 Fiesta Bowl, 1991 Blockbuster Bowl, and 1990 Sugar Bowl. Both Sugar Bowl appearances came after an SEC title. After his playing career, he served as a graduate assistant during the 1993-95 seasons at Alabama, where he coached in the 1994 Gator Bowl and 1995 Citrus Bowl. In both the 1994 and 1995 seasons, he coached Alabama in the SEC Championship game after winning the SEC Western Division title. In December of 1995, he received a masters of business administration at Tuscaloosa.

Swinney became a full-time assistant at Alabama in February of 1996 and coached a total of five seasons on a full-time basis. He was assigned to coach the Crimson Tide’s wide receivers and tight ends in 1996, a season that saw Alabama win the SEC Western Division championship and make an Outback Bowl appearance. The following season, when Alabama played in the Music City Bowl, he solely coached the tight ends under new Head Coach Mike DuBose. Then in January, 1998, he coached Alabama’s wide receivers, a position he held for three seasons. At the end of the 1999 season, Swinney coached the Crimson Tide in the 2000 Orange Bowl after winning the SEC championship game.

Swinney coached four players at Alabama who have played in the NFL, including Freddie Milons, Alabama’s all-time leading receiver in terms of total receptions, second in yardage.

In all, Swinney was a part of six 10+ win seasons and five top-10 finishes at Alabama as a player and coach. Since his last season in 2000, he has been in private business in Alabama. Swinney is married to the former Kathleen Bassett in 1994. The couple has two boys, Will (4) and Drew (3). Swinney was born November 20, 1969 in Birmingham, AL.

Clemson Holds Scrimmage March 29, 2003 Clemson, SC-Red-shirt freshman Reggie Merriweather rushed for 75 yards and scored two touchdowns to lead the offense and Gaines Adams recorded a pair of safeties on defense to highlight play in a Clemson football scrimmage on the practice fields behind the Jervey Athletic Center on Saturday morning.

The Tigers worked for two and a half hours on Saturday, their final major scrimmage prior to the Spring Game on April 5. That game will be held at 1:30 PM at Riggs Field. Admission is free.

The Tigers worked extensively on the running game, an area Head Coach Tommy Bowden’s hopes to improve on both sides of the ball this coming season. The last part of the practice was spent working on short-yardage situations at midfield. The offense appeared to win that battle.

Merriweather’s play has been a highlight of the spring practice. A red-shirt last year, Merriweather is yet to appear in a game for the Tigers. “He is getting consistent at breaking long runs,” said Bowden. “We certainly are looking for a player who can break a long run. We didn’t have a running back have a run over 32 yards last year. It seems every practice he breaks one. It won’t be difficult for Reggie to get in the lineup if he continues to break these long runs.”

Merriweather had eight rushes for 75 yards in Saturday’s scrimmage. He had a 35-yard run for a touchdown and a five-yard run for a score. He had another run of 20 yards brought back by a penalty. He had a 75-yard run in a scrimmage last Wednesday.

Merriweather was not the only running back to stand out on Saturday. Rising sophomore Kyle Browning had a 38-yard run and had a strong performance. Yusef Kelly, Clemson’s top rusher last year with 520 yards a year ago, gained 37 yards on 12 carries. The offensive scored four touchdowns, all on touchdown runs. Merriweather had two, while Duane Coleman and David Dunham had one apiece.

Clemson ran 97 plays in the scrimmage, 74 runs and 23 passes. Charlie Whitehurst completed 3-6 passes for 61 yards, while Willie Simmons hit on 5-10 for 81. Will Proctor was 3-3 for 27 and Chansi Stuckey was 1-4 for five yards. Stuckey provided one of the highlight plays of the day when he escaped on-rushing linemen and gained 21 yards.

The top receiver was senior Airese Currie did not catch a pass, but had a 34-yard run.

The defense was led by Gaines Adams, another red-shirt freshman, who had four tackles, including three tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. Twice he tackled the opposing quarterback in the endzone for a safety, once on a sack. Vontrel Jamison had three tackles, including 1.5 sacks. Tye Hill had the only interception of the scrimmage, while Anthony Waters had a fumble recovery. The top tacklers of the day were Gerald McCloud, Leroy Hill and Lionel Richardson had five tackles apiece.

Bowden was pleased with the performance of the offense, but wants the defense to step up. “The offensive line played well today, we want improvement on short yardage and we saw that today. At the same time, I would rather see the defense dominate the line of scrimmage. “

Three Tigers Named to Academic All-ACC Football Team William Henry, Rodney Thomas and Khaleed Vaughn were all named to the Academic All-ACC Football team. The team was released by ACC Commissioner John Swofford. It was the second consecutive year Vaughn has been chosen the team, the first selection for Henry and Thomas. To be eligible, a player must have earned a 3.00 grade point average for the fall semester or have maintained a 3.00 cumulative average during his academic career. Henry and Vaughn already have their undergraduate degrees from Clemson, but still are eligible for the 2003 season. Thomas will earn his degree in May. All three players were starters for Clemson last year.

Henry started 11 of Clemson’s 13 games this past season and averaged over 70 snaps per game. He played the complete game in nine of the 13 games, more than any other Clemson offensive player. He had a season high seven knockdown blocks in Clemson’s win over Georgia Tech. Thomas had167 tackles for the season, one of the top 10 figures in the nation. He had nine tackles for loss and two sacks in starting every game last year. The honorable mention All-ACC player on the field had a season high 19 tackles in the win over Duke. He had double figures in tackles in 10 of the 13 games. He led Clemson in tackles in five games. Vaughn started all 13 games and had 60 tackles, including six tackles for loss and four sacks. He had 18 quarterback pressures, second on the Clemson team. He had a season high tying seven tackles in Clemson’s win over South Carolina.

Spring Game Review 2002 Junior running back Airese Currie had 99 yards receiving on three catches to highlight action in the Clemson Spring Football Game on April 6, 2002.

The contest was played on Historic Riggs Field, the first football game played at the facility since 1968 when the Clemson freshman team played Duke. Clemson Memorial Stadium was in the middle of a renovation and that was the reason for the change of venue.

Over 8,000 fans showed up to see the 128-play scrimmage. The offense scored 44 points on five touchdowns and three field goals. The defense had many highlights also, picking off two passes and forcing two lost fumbles. The defense also recorded six sacks.

Overall, the offense rushed 70 times for 240 yards and four touchdowns, while the quarterbacks combined to hit 35 of 58 passes for 406 yards and a touchdown.

Jasmin, a native of Louisiana who led the Tigers in yards per carry last year, had 13 rushes for 68 yards and the three touchdowns. He scored on touchdown runs of six and 16 yards in the first half, then scored on a one-yard run in the fourth period. Willie Simmons.

Clemson’s top two quarterbacks had good days throwing the ball. Starter Willie Simmons hit on 13 of 25 passes for 198 yards and a touchdown. He also had 6-48 rushing and often looked like his predecessor, Woodrow Dantzler, when it came to running the ball. Simmons, who graduated in May with two years of eligibility remaining, led the number-one offense to three touchdowns and a pair of field goals. Rising sophomore Charlie Whitehurst hit on 20-26 passes for 174 yards. He did not throw a touchdown pass, but led the number-two offense to two touchdowns and a field goal.

The top receiver in terms of number of catches was Derrick Hamilton had 4-74 and the touchdown, while freshman Bobby Williamson had 4-47 as a tight end. Jeff Scott contributed 4-35 in terms of receiving. Currie had 99 yards receiving on catches of 22, 33 and 44 yards.

Aaron Hunt continued his outstanding kicking. The rising junior nailed field goals of 52 and 39 yards. Kyle Tucker added a 26-yarder.

The defense had a solid outing. David Dunham had seven tackles from a linebacker postion.

In addition to Meekins’s takeaway, Toure Francis had an interception and Terrance Huey had a 52-yard interception return.

Kevin Youngblood, who missed last year with a broken leg, dressed, but did not play in the scrimmage. Charles Harper was out with a knee injury.

“I was pleased with out performance today and in the spring overall,” said Head Coach Tommy Bowden’s. ” We got a lot of work in today and it was a very good atmosphere, playing here at Riggs Field. It was a great day for football at Clemson.”

Bowden was pleased with the performance of his quarterbacks, running back Willie Simmons came on strong after spring break. He had his best practice on Thursday, then looked strong throwing the ball today. He ran the ball well also. Those were not designed draw plays like we did with Woody, but he took advantage of some opportunities.

“Airese Currie both played well. They are rising sophomores who are going to be important players for us next year.

“I thought the defense played well. There were some hard hits out there. I thought David Dunham made some strong hits also. “

Clemson Spring Game StatisticsRushing (Att-Yds-TD) Tye Hill 13-50; Kyle Browning 4-20; Charlie Whitehurst 9- (-23)

Passing (Att-Com-Int-Yds-TD) Charlie Whitehurst 20-26-2-174; Joe Bever 2-7-0-34

Receiving (Rec-Yds-TD) J.J. McKelvey 2-12; Gene Pate 1-30; Ben Hall 1-6

Interceptions Toure Francis 1-0

Fumble Recoveries: Meekins, McClintonCaused Fumbles: Mance, FeasterPasses Broken Up: Monts, Fudge, Johnson, Burnett

Tackle Leaders Leake 13, Hill 12, Meekins 9, Monts 7, Pugh 7, Dunham 7, Fountain 6, Burnette 5, Fudge 5, Johnson 5, Feaster 5,