Sept. 3, 2001
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Game Two: Clemson vs. Wofford
Saturday, Sept. 8, 2001 1:00 PM (EST) Clemson Memorial Stadium (81,474) Clemson, SC
In the Rankings Clemson – #19 AP, #19 USA Today/ESPN Wofford – #24 USA Today/ESPN (DI-AA), #25 The Sports Network
Radio: Clemson Tiger Sports NetworkPlay By Play: Jim Phillips* Color: Mike Eppley* Sideline: Rodney Williams
Series History: Clemson leads 9-3Tickets: $25, Available
Clemson vs. Wofford Series This is the 20th anniversary of the last time Clemson and Wofford faced off on the gridiron. In 1981, Villanova dropped football in April. Clemson administrators called on Wofford and they agreed to come to Clemson for the season opener. Earlier this year, Tulane decided against coming to Clemson for a regular season game at Death Valley, forcing Clemson officials to look for a late addition to the schedule. Wofford again came to Clemson’s aid.
Clemson went on to win the National Championship in 1981, so Tiger fans are hoping this schedule change is a foreshadowing of success to come. Wofford, then an NAIA school, did not go quietly 20 years ago. In fact, the Terriers held a 3-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. Clemson went on to a 45-10 victory, but the Terriers would end the game with 293 yards of total offense, including 201 in the first half. Only two other teams had more total offense than Wofford against Clemson’s defense, which allowed just 8.2 points a game that year.
Current Wofford offensive coordinator Wade Lang led the Wofford ball carriers that day with 76 yards on 17 attempts. He also completed two passes for 30 yards. Wofford scored a touchdown in the fourth period and that would be the only touchdown Clemson would yield over the first 22 quarters of the season. Current Terriers Head Coach Mike Ayers was an assistant coach on Wofford’s staff the last time the two teams met.
Clemson holds a 9-3 advantage in the series that dates to 1896, the first year of Clemson football. The Tigers won that game, 16-0 in Spartanburg in what was just the third game in Clemson football history. Clemson won the second meeting in the series by a 21-0 score in 1900, the second game in the head coaching career of John Heisman. Clemson also shutout Wofford in 1940, 26-0, in what was the second game in the Clemson coaching career of the legendary Frank Howard. Now, this year’s game is the second game in the third year of Tommy Bowden’s Clemson coaching career.
Wofford’s last win in the series took place in 1933, a 14-13 Terrier win in Spartanburg. Wofford won consecutive games by shutout over the Tigers in 1925 and 1926.
The Tigers have won 35 games in a row over Southern Conference schools dating to a 6-0 loss to South Carolina in 1952. Clemson has won 45 in a row over teams currently in the Southern Conference, including 12 of the last 14 by shutout.
Similar Styles at Quarterback If you like multi-faceted quarterbacks you have come to the right place. Much was made about Woodrow Dantzler’s pursuit of a 2,000-yard passing, 1,000-yard rushing season in 2000. He finished the year with 1,028 rushing and 1,871 through the air.
But, Wofford’s Travis Wilson, a senior from Newberry, SC also could challenge that plateau this year. A year ago he quarterbacked Wofford to a 7-4 record by rushing for 779 and passing for 1,202 yards. For his career, he has 2,069 yards on the ground, ahead of Dantzler’s 1,746. He has 3,039 career passing yards, giving him 5,000 career yards of total offense.
This is believed to be the first time in the history of Death Valley that two quarterbacks with more than 5,000 yards of total offense will do battle in Clemson Memorial Stadium. Wilson already owns the top two total offense figures in Wofford history on a single season basis. His 5,108 career yards of total offense are second only to the 7,067 recorded by Shawn Graves between 1989-92.
Facts on the Wofford Terriers * This is the seventh season of Division I-AA football for Wofford. Head Coach Mike Ayers has been the leader of the program since 1988. * Wofford has a student enrollment of 1,100 students, the smallest enrollment for any I-A or I-AA school. * Wofford had six Academic All-District team members last year, more than any other school. * Head Coach Mike Ayers has 77 career victories, tied for first in school history with Conley Snidow (1953-66). He was named Southern Conference Coach of the Year in 2000. * More than 70,000 fans are expected at Saturday’s game, making it the largest crowd Wofford has ever played before. The previous high was 60,000 set the last time the two teams met at Clemson in 1981. * Wofford owns a victory over a Division I-A team. Last year the Terriers upset Louisiana-Monroe, 24-6 for its first ever Division I-A victory. * Clemson has never had a player gain 100 yards rushing and 100 receiving in the same game, but Wofford has. Last year against Western Carolina, Jesse McCoy had 115 yards receiving and 114 rushing in a Wofford victory. * This will be a battle of teams that like to run. Wofford was seventh in the nation in rushing at the Division I-AA level in 2000, while the Tigers were 10th in rushing in Division I-A. * Wofford has just as much a national recruiting influence as Clemson. Eleven states are represented on the Wofford roster, including 10 players from Ohio. * Wofford secondary coach Terry Lantz does not need to search for advice when it comes to coaching against Clemson. His father, Rick Lantz, coached against the Tigers as defensive coordinator at Virginia for many years, including last season.
Tigers Hope for 2-0 Start Clemson is looking for a 2-0 start to the regular season for the second year in a row and the third time in five years. But, over the last 30 years, gaining a 2-0 start has been hard to come by for Clemson. Clemson is just 11-18-1 in the second game of the season over the last 30 years. Clemson has been 2-0 just eight times in the last 30 years.
In recent years Clemson has not gotten off to a great start, yet has been resilient, making improvement over the course of the season. Clemson has been to a bowl game 17 of the last 24 seasons, yet has been 2-0 just five times in that era. Clemson had a 12-0 season in 1981 of course, and was 6-0 to start 1987. Clemson was 2-0 in 1997 and jumped to an 8-0 start last year. Clemson was also 2-0 to open the 1991 season.
Clemson in Top 20 for 20 Straight Polls Clemson is ranked in the top 20 in the nation in the latest Associated Press poll. The Tigers have been ranked in the top 20 in all three polls so far this year and for 20 consecutive polls over the last two years. This is the second longest streak of consecutive weeks ranked in the top 20 in the AP poll in Clemson history. The record for consecutive top 20 rankings is 41, set between the final poll of the 1986 season and the Oct. 10, 1989 poll. The Tigers were ranked between third and 17th in the nation in all 41 or those polls. The record for consecutive weeks in the top 25 is 50 in a row between Oct. 24, 1989 and October 19, 1992. The Tigers were ranked between 6 and 25 during that streak. Clemson was ranked between 21-25 in six of those 50 weeks. Clemson has had two other streaks of 14 weeks or more ranked in the top 20. One took place from Sept. 21, 1981 through Sept. 13, 1982, a 15-week streak, while the other took place between Oct. 12, 1959 and Oct. 10, 1960, a 14-week streak.
Coaching Offspring Scores Winning Touchdown When Jeff Scott ran 22 yards for a touchdown on a fake field goal against Central Florida last week, one Clemson assistant coach was very proud. Assistant Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator Brad Scott must have been beaming from his seat in the coaches booth as Scott scored his first collegiate touchdown on the play. It gave Clemson a 21-7 lead and proved to be the winning touchdown.
Both Scotts can take credit for the play. Jeff, a true coach’s son, watched film of Central Florida’s special teams over the summer and pointed out to his father that the fake field goal might work. Brad and Ron West are in charge of the field goal team and they worked on the play in the preseason. The coaches felt the time was ripe when Clemson lined up for a 29-yard field goal with 11 minutes left in the third period.
It certainly worked as Scott ran the play with the option to pitch the ball, but ran through a large whole on the right side of Central Florida’s line. He dove the last few yards into the endzone for the score. It marked the third time Scott had run with the ball out of a fake field goal in his 13 games as a Tiger. He now has three rushes for 40 yards.
So, has a coach’s son ever scored a touchdown for the Tigers before? You have to go back 38 years to the Clemson vs. South Carolina game in Columbia on November 28, 1963. Jimmy Howard, son of Clemson legendary Head Coach Frank Howard, scored on a seven-yard run, the Tigers first touchdown of the day, in a 24-20 Clemson victory. Howard, a reserve running back for the Tigers from 1961-63, had four rushes for 20 yards that day. Howard ended his career with two touchdowns, as he had scored earlier in the 1963 season against Virginina.
Two other assistant coaches in the last 15 years have had their sons play for the Tigers during their coaching career in Clemson. J.C. Harper, son of Clemson defensive coordinator Tom Harper, played for the Tigers between 1985-88, while Les Herrin’s son Deke played for the Tigers as a walk-on wide receiver in 1998. Neither scored a touchdown in their Clemson careers.
One former Clemson coach’s son who did not play for the Tigers, but has gone on to NFL fame is Brandon Stokley. Nelson Stokley served as an assistant for the Tigers from 1980-85 and a young Brandon could be seen at Clemson practices now and then throwing the football with his father. Nelson then became the head coach at SW Louisiana and Brandon played there for his father and became one of the top receivers in the nation. He now plays with the Baltimore Ravens and caught a touchdown pass in last year’s Super Bowl.
Dantzler Moving up Career Charts Woodrow Dantzler’s completed 15 of 25 passes for 154 yards and a touchdown in the season opener. He also contributed 46 yards on the ground, giving him a 200-yard total offense day to open the season, the 10th time in the last 13 games he has done that. He had one touchdown rushing and one throwing, giving him 39 career touchdowns rushing and passing.
Dantzler continues to move up on the school’s all-time lists. The 39 touchdowns rushing and passing rank in a tie for fourth best in Clemson history in terms of touchdown responsibility. He is tied with Ray Matthews, who had 20 rushing, 11 passing and eight other touchdowns via returns or receiving. Teammate Travis Zachery is now third with 40 touchdowns (33 rushing and seven receiving). The all-time leader is Steve Fuller, who had 22 touchdowns rushing and 22 passing in his career that spanned 1975-78. Nealon Greene, now in the Canadian Football League and a teammate of Dantzler in 1997, had 43. Dantzler also ranks in the top six in Clemson history in a number of other categories. He is currently sixth in passing yardage with 3613 and needs just 34 yards passing against Wofford to move into fifth place ahead of Homer Jordan’s 3643.
Dantzler is fourth in career total offense with 5,359 yards and needs just 152 yards to move into third place ahead of Rodney Williams. Williams will get to see Dantzler move ahead of him from close range, as the 1989 Clemson graduate, who led the Tigers to a record 32 wins, is the sideline reporter for the Clemson Radio Network. Clemson’s career total offense leader is Nealon Greene with 6786, a number that is definitely in range for Dantzler.
Heisman Candidate Woodrow Dantzler’s Clemson quarterback Woodrow Dantzler’s has been omni present on many of the preseason Heisman Trophy lists. The Clemson graduate is ranked as the number-two candidate for the award by CBS.Sportsline.com, Lindy’s preseason annual, and Mel Kiper of ESPN. He is ranked eighth by The Sporting News. He is also listed by USA Today as a candidate. That publication listed 10 players in alphabetical order. He was also one of six favorites mentioned by ESPN’s GameDay program.
Dantzler was also listed as the first- team preseason All-America quarterback by Football News and Lindy’s. Lindy’s lists Dantzler as the top candidate for the Davey O’Brien Award and the Davey O’Brien Award. Lindy’s and Street & Smith rank Dantzler as the number-one preseason candidate for ACC Player of the Year, while Sporting News lists him as the preseason Offensive Player of the Year.
Zachery Goes over 2,500 For the second straight year, Travis Zachery opened the regular season having to prove himself after suffering a painful injury in a bowl game. The Doak Walker Award candidate suffered a broken ankle on a 23-yard scoring reception from Woodrow Dantzler’s in the Gator Bowl against Virginia Tech and that kept him out of the rest of the game and spring practice.
He proved that he is back to full strength, leading Clemson in rushing with 48 yards and in receptions with five for 41 in the season opener against UCF. He scored a touchdown on a pass reception from Woodrow Dantzler’s, his 40th career touchdown and his seventh receiving. He now has 35 touchdowns in his last 25 games.
Zachery enters the Wofford game with 2,530 career rushing yards, fifth best in school history. The greatest receiving running back in Clemson history, he has a record 65 career catches for 684 yards. He has 3,490 all-purpose running yards in his career, second best in school history.
Zachery probably won’t catch Raymond Priester when it comes to the career rushing record (he needs 1,436), but he will have a good chance to catch Priester in all-purpose yards. Priester had 4,282 all-purpose yards (rushing, receiving and kick returns combined), just 790 yards ahead of Zachery. Zachery has had at least 997 all-purpose yards in each of his first three years at Clemson.
Mance Top Tackler, Kickoff Return LeaderBrian Mance was Clemson’s top tackler in the season opener with 10 tackles. It marked the first time since a loss to Wake Forest in 1993 that a cornerback led Clemson in tackles. Andre Humphrey led the Tigers in tackles that day with 10.
Mance’s performance marked the second straight game a defensive back had led the Tigers in tackles. Charles Hafley had a career high 14 tackles against Virginia Tech in the Gator Bowl.
Mance, a junior from Alcolu, SC and Manning High School, was also a strong contributor on special teams in the return game. He had three kickoff returns for 98 yards and two punt returns for 21 yards. That gave him 119 all-purpose running yards for five touches, a 23.8 average. His 53-yard kickoff return in the second quarter set up a Clemson touchdown.
Making big plays has been common in Mance’s Clemson career. For his career he now has 255 yards on nine kickoff returns, 72 yards on three interception returns and 213 yards on eight punt returns. That totals to 540 return yards for the 20 returns, or an incredible 27 yards every time he touches the ball. He leads the ACC in kickoff returns after one game. His top return last year was an 88-yard punt return against Georgia Tech.
Kopp, Special Teams Outstanding to Open Season In addition to Brian Mance’s return efforts, Clemson also had an outstanding performance from punter Wynn Kopp in the opening win over UCF. The transfer from Georgia posted a 43.8 yards per punt average. He had 263 yards on six punts and allowed just 19 yards on three returns. That computes to a 40.7 net punting average.
How good is a 40.7 net punting average? For the course of a season, Chris Gardocki, an All-Pro with the Cleveland Browns, never had a net punting average over 39.4 for the course of a season in his Clemson career. The last Tiger to have a net punting average over 40 yards was Dale Hatcher, who had a 42.4 net punting average in 1984.
Kopp’s best punt of the day might have been his shortest. In the fourth quarter, he fielded a bouncing snap, and under duress punted the ball down field to get the Tigers out of trouble. The punt rolled dead 32 yards down field instead of giving UCF the ball just 15 yards from Clemson’s goal line.
Five First-Year Freshmen Played in Opener Clemson played five first-year freshmen in the season opener against UCF. The list included three receivers in Roscoe Crosby, Airese Currie and tight end Ben Hall. On defense, Moe Fountain and Eric Sampson were first-year freshmen that saw action.
Crosby started the game, the first first-year freshman to start at wide receiver in the season opener 1944 when Arthur Hagan started every game as a first-year freshmen. That was during WWII when the United States Armed Services drafted most of Clemson’s upperclassmen. It didn’t take Crosby much time to have an impact. He caught a Utah pass from quarterback Woodrow Dantzler’s on the first play of the season and he turned it into a 12-yard gain. He also caught 33-yard pass for Clemson’s longest play of the day from scrimmage. Crosby finished the day with three catches for 64 yards. The yardage total led the Tigers against UCF. Hall also made his first career catch in the contest.
Clemson Defense Stands out vs. UCF According to many of the preseason magazines, Clemson’s “weakest link” was supposed to be an inexperienced defense. The Tigers returned just four starters from last year’s 9-3 team. Four defensive players made their first start against Central Florida and two others were making just their second career start. Another was making just his fourth career start.
But, the Tigers held the Golden Knights to but 13 points, 31 yards rushing and 328 yards of total offense in recording a 21-13 victory. In 2000, Central Florida averaged 30 points and 373 yards per game in total offense.
John Leake led the first-time starters with nine tackles in 51 plays from his star safety position. The first-year sophomore has been a bright spot in the preseason. He had three quarterback pressures and a caused fumble to go with his nine tackles. Eric Meekins was another first-time starter who had a strong game. The strong safety had seven tackles in his 53 plays.
The Clemson defense was hard hitting with five caused fumbles, including two by Braxton K. Williams. He became the first Clemson defensive player to record two caused fumbles in the same game since 1996 when Tony DeSue had two against N.C. State.
It was a balanced performance for the Tiger defense. Six different players had a tackle for loss, eight different players were credited with a quarterback pressure and four different players had a caused fumble.
Leake Defender to Watch Coach Tommy Bowden spoke in the preseason about players who needed to step up their play on defense to make the Tigers successful in 2001. The Tigers lost seven defensive starters from last year so many 2000 reserves have an opportunity to make a difference.
One of the players who is taking advantage of an opportunity is star safety John Leake. The sophomore from Plano, TX is now starting at the star safety position. Defensive Coordinator Reggie Herring said he was Clemson’s top defensive player in the first two weeks of the preseason work. He was the team’s top tackler in both major scrimmages. He also had a team best three sacks. “His motor runs nonstop,” said Bowden. “He reminds you of Keith Adams the way he practices and plays all over the field.”
Leake did not play a single play from scrimmage last year, but was a top special teams tackler with nine stops. He then had a breakout spring, highlighted by a 10-tackle effort in the spring game, a total that led all tacklers. He also had a 57-yard interception return for a touchdown.
He was Clemson’s second leading tackler in the first game of the season against UCF with nine tackles.
Carson Moves into Top 10 in Career Tackles Clemson Butkus Award candidate Chad Carson had seven tackles in the opener against UCF and moved into the top 10 in Clemson history in career tackles. He now has 318 as a Tiger, and moved ahead of Doug Brewster (312), Jim Stuckey (314) and Henry Walls (316) in the game. Carson, who is applying for a Rhodes Scholarship and is a two-time Academic All-American, has had at least 10 tackles in 19 of his last 25 games. He ranked fourth in the nation in tackles per game last year with 13.3 per game.
Seven Graduate Students to Start for Tigers Clemson has seven graduate students slated to hold starting positions for today’s game with Wofford. That is an all-time record for graduate students on the Clemson football team.
The list is led by Heisman Trophy candidate Woodrow Dantzler’s, who received his degree in marketing from Clemson in August. Dantzler hugged Clemson President Jim Barker when he was presented his diploma on the stage at Littlejohn Coliseum.
Starting defensive back Charles Hafley and starting defensive tackle Nick Eason both earned their degrees in sociology that same day. Eason’s graduation was especially impressive because he still has two years of eligibility. He earned the degree in three years and three summer sessions and plans to earn a Master’s degree before his eligibility is up. He is the first Clemson football player to earn an undergraduate degree with two years of eligibility remaining.
Four other Clemson players received their degrees prior to this past August, and all four of them are starters on offense. Kyle Young, starting center, and T.J. Watkins, starting guard, earned their degrees in May. Young graduated Summa Cum Laude and is a two-time first-team Academic All-American. Wide receiver Matt Bailey also received his degree that day. Starting offensive guard Will Merritt received his degree in December of 2000, just a few days prior to the Gator Bowl.
Young Looks for Landmark Accomplishment Clemson center Kyle Young has been named a first-team Academic All-American each of the last two years. If he is chosen for a third time at the end of the 2001 season he will become just the second offensive lineman in college football history to be chosen a first-team Academic All-American in three different seasons. He would also become just the second ACC player in history to be chosen three times.
The College Sports Information Directors of America have chosen the academic All-America team every year since 1952, so the 2001 team will be the 50th team selected. Players chosen to the team must have at least a 3.20 cumulative GPA. Young had a 3.98 career GPA and graduated in May, Summa Cum Laude.
Young will try to join former Colorado offensive lineman Jim Hansen as the only three-time first-team selections. Hansen was named in 1990, 1991 and 1992. The only other ACC player to be a three-time first-team selection, regardless of position, is Mike Diminick, a defensive back from Duke, who was named first team in 1986, 1987 and 1988.
Overall, 12 different football players have been named first-team academic All-American three times. Clemson’s Kyle Young will attempt to join that group in 2001.
Six Tigers on Preseason Award Lists Six Clemson players have been named to various preseason award lists for the 2001 season. Clemson quarterback Woodrow Dantzler’s is on the preseason list for the Davey O’Brien Award, which is given to the top quarterback in college football and the Unitas Award, which is given to the top senior quarterback. Running back Travis Zachery is on the Doak Walker Award list, which is given to the top running back in college football. Zachery is one of just two ACC players on the list. Clemson has two offensive linemen on the preseason Lombardi Award list. Center Kyle Young and offensive guard Will Merritt are both listed for the award that goes to the top lineman in college football. Clemson and Miami (FL) are the only two schools with two offensive linemen on the list. Defensive linemen and linebackers are also eligible.
Chad Carson is the only Clemson defensive player on a preseason award list. Clemson’s top tackler from 2000 is on the preseason Butkus Award Watch List. Carson ranked fourth in the nation in tackles a year ago. Clemson linebacker Keith Adams was a finalist for the award last year.
Punter Wynn Kopp, who had a near 44-yard average in the season opener, is on the preseason list for the Ray Guy Award, which is given to the top punter in college football.
The only Clemson player to win a national award is Terry Kinard. The two-time first-team AP All-American was named the national defensive player of the year by CBS Sports in 1982. Kinard will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in December and will be inducted into the Clemson Ring of Honor prior to the Clemson vs. Florida State game on Nov. 3.
Hiring Bowden Means Improvement We are yet to find a coach in NCAA Division I-A history who has accomplished what Tommy Bowden has done in his first four years as a Division I head coach. In each of his first four seasons he has seen his team make at least a three-victory improvement over the previous year. In 1997 he took over a Tulane program that had been 4-7 the year prior to his hiring, and he brought the program to a 7-4 season. The following year he took Tulane to a perfect 11-0 campaign in the regular season.
In 1999 he took over a Clemson team that had been 3-8 in 1998 and took the Tigers to six wins and a Peach Bowl bid. Last year there was another three-win improvement, as Clemson finished the year 9-3 and ranked 14th in the final ESPN/USA Today Coach’s Poll.
As far as Clemson history is concerned, the only previous coaches to take the Tigers to a three-win improvement in consecutive years are Josh Cody (1927 and 1928) and Charley Pell (1977 and 1978). No one in Clemson history has done it three straight years. Bowden and UNLV Head Coach John Robinson are the only coaches in the nation to take a team to a three-win improvement each of the last two years.
Bowden can stand alone in one area if he takes the Tigers to a bowl game this year. No Clemson coach as led the Tigers to a bowl game in each of his first three years with the Tigers.
Clemson in the Preseason Polls Clemson is ranked 19th in the preseason Associated Press poll. This is the 18th time since 1936 that Clemson has been ranked in the preseason top 25 of that poll. This is the second straight year Clemson has been in the preseason top 20, as the Tigers were 17th in last year’s preseason poll. The Tigers improved on that by finishing 16th in the final AP poll. Clemson was 14th in the final USA Today poll for the 2000 season.
Clemson was 18th in the preseason USA Today/ESPN Coach’s poll. As far as other preseason polls are concerned, The Tigers have been ranked 20th by Sports Illustrated, 13th by ESPN the Magazine and 18th by The Sporting News.
Clemson’s highest preseason ranking in the history of the AP poll is a number-four ranking. Clemson had that lofty ranking in 1988 and 1984. The 1988 team finished 10-2 and ranked ninth in the final poll. The 1984 team finished 7-4 and was not ranked in the final AP poll. That team led by William Perry and Mike Eppley did finish 20th in the final New York Times computer ranking.
The preseason poll is not always an indication of future success or failure for the Tigers, although it was last season. The previous three seasons Clemson was ranked in the preseason top 25 it failed to finish in the top 25. The 1993 season was the last time prior to 2000 that Clemson was ranked in the preseason and the postseason poll in the seame year.
Last year was the 11th time Clemson was ranked in the Associated Press preseason poll and finished the season in the top 25. That includes a streak of five straight years between 1987-91. There have been nine seasons in which Clemson was unranked in the preseason poll, then finished the season ranked in the top 20. That includes the 1981 season when Clemson was unranked in August, then won the National Championship in January. The last time Clemson went from unranked in the preseason to a final top 25 ranking was 1986 when Clemson finished 17th after an 8-2-2 season.
Of the 17 times that Clemson has been ranked in the preseason poll prior to this year, Clemson has finished higher than the preseason ranking just five times (1958, 1978, 1982, 1990 and 2000). In one season, 1989, Clemson had the same preseason and final ranking.
Here is a list of Clemson’s preseason rankings13th-ESPN The Magazine14th-Collegefootballnews.com, CNNSI.com18th-The Sports News, Football Writers Association, USA Today/ESPN19th-Preview Sports, Street & Smith, Associated Press20th-Athlon, Blue Ribbon, Sports Illustrated23rd-Lindy’s
Youngblood, Bodrick Out for the Season Two Clemson starters were lost for the season during preseason practice. First, on August 18th, starting linebacker Altroy Bodrick suffered a torn ACL during a scrimmage in Death Valley. Three days later, during the final scrimmage of the preseason, starting wide receiver Kevin Youngblood was lost for the year with a broken leg. Bodrick was a senior entering this year, but has never red-shirted and thus will come back for a fifth year in 2002. Youngblood was a red-shirt sophomore this year and thus will lose a year as a result of the injury. He will still be eligible for 2002 and 2003.
As a result of the injury to Bodrick, Reggie Herring moved Braxton K. Williams from star safety to Bodrick’s linebacker position, a position he has played the last two years. John Leake then moved to the starting position at star safety. Leake had been Clemson’s best defensive player during the first two weeks of camp, according to Herring.
As a result of Youngblood’s injury at wide receiver, Jackie Robinson moved from his flanker position to Youngblood’s wide receiver slot. Robinson is a returning starter who knows all the receiver positions in the Clemson offense. Freshman Roscoe Crosby moved to the starting flanker position that Robinson held.
This is the first time since 1994 that Clemson has lost two players for the season during preseason drills. That year reserve Rudy Currie suffered a broken wrist and was out for the year and linebacker Bernard Randolph suffered repeated concussions and was kept out for the season. Both of those players were reserves.
Herring Suffers Torn Achilles The same day that Altroy Bodrick suffered a torn ACL, defensive coordinator Reggie Herring suffered a torn Achilles tendon. Herring suffered the injury while exhorting his defense after a good play during the Aug. 18 scrimmage.
Herring, who never missed a game due to injury during his playing career at Florida State, will not miss a game this year. He will coach the Tigers defense from the press box until he is able to walk without crutches. At that point he will return to the sidelines, where he has worked since he came to Clemson in 1993.
Herring showed some intestinal fortitude on Aug. 22 when he had the surgery to repair the torn Achilles at 6:30 AM, then returned to practice that afternoon at 3:30 PM. He coached from the sidelines while sitting in a golf cart. He was helped during that day by pain killers, causing Tommy Bowden to comment, “That is the first time I had an assistant coach on morphine during practice.”
Changes from the Press Guide There have been some changes as far as personnel is concerned since the 2001 Clemson media guide was published in July. Three players on the press guide roster are no longer on the team. Freshman Micheaux Hollingsworth has decided to attend a junior college. Freshman Grant Oliver decided to leave Clemson a week into practice and has left school. David Ellis, a two-year letterman at defensive end, decided to leave the team a week into practice.
Five players have changed positions since the beginning of practice. Braxton K. Williams has moved from star safety to strongside linebacker. Tyrone Lee, a letterman as a reserve tight end last year, has moved to fullback. Eric Sampson, who came to Clemson as a linebacker this year, is now the backup star safety. Brian Carr has moved from quarterback to free safety and freshman Eric Coleman has moved from tight end to offensive tackle.
19 Tigers on NFL Rosters Nineteen former Clemson football players, including three from last year’s 9-3 team that finished 14th in the final poll were named to NFL teams on Sunday. The list also included former Tiger lineman Corey Hulsey, who had not played since the 1998 season with the Tigers. Hulsey made the Buffalo Bills roster as a guard.
Rod Gardner (WR, Washington Redskins), Robert Carswell (FS, San Diego Chargers) and Darrel Crutchfield (DB, Philadelphia Eagles) were members of Clemson’s 2000 team that stuck with NFL teams as rookies. Gardner was a first-round pick and was a lock to make the Redskins. In fact, he is slated to start their season opener.
Carswell was a seventh-round pick, while Crutchfield was a free agent. Five of the 19 players on the list are in at least their 10th year in the NFL. That list includes Chris Gardocki, in his 11th year in the league as a punter. He will play for the Cleveland Browns this year. Terry Allen is a running back with the World Champion Baltimore Ravens, while Levon Kirkland, Ed McDaniel and Chester McGlockton are all former Tigers in their 10th year in the NFL.
The Seattle Seahawks will start two former Tiger linebackers in Anthony Simmons and Kirkland, while the Denver Broncos will start two former Tigers at defensive tackle in former All-Pros McGlockton and Trevor Pryce. The Seahawks, Broncos, Ravens, Chargers and Eagles all have have two former Tigers apiece.
NFL teams cut down to 53 players on Sunday. Each team will have the right to add five players to practice squads this week. Among those players could be Keith Adams, who was cut Friday by the Tennessee Titans. Another surprise cut on Sunday was Rahim Abdullah, who was waived by the Minnesota Vikings. Tony Horne, an All-Pro as a kick returner two years ago, was cut late Sunday night by the Kansas City Chiefs.
Clemson Assistant Coaches Have Bowl Experience Clemson’s nine current assistant coaches and head coach Tommy Bowden have coached in a combined 82 bowl games entering the 2001 season. Of the current staff, Rick Stockstill has coached in the most bowl games, as the Gator Bowl against Virginia Tech was his ninth as a Clemson assistant. Defensive coordinator Reggie Herring has a lot of bowl gifts in his closet. He has coached in 15 as an assistant coach and played in three more at Florida State.
Two Clemson assistants have served as head coaches in bowl games. Brad Scott led South Carolina to its first bowl win in history when he defeated West Virginia in the 1994 Carquest Bowl. Mike O’Cain, hired as Clemson’s quarterbacks coach on Dec. 4, 2000, served as N.C. State’s head coach in three bowl games.
IPTAY Establishes Fund Raising Record IPTAY raised over $20 million in pledges during the 2000-01 fiscal year according to data released by George Bennett, executive secretary of Clemson’s scholarship fund-raising organization. The figure was more than doubled the previous record set last year. The official dollar figure for pledges for IPTAY 2001 was $20,278,795.80, shattering the previous record of $10,062,859.70 set during the 1999-00 fiscal year. Bennett announced that the organization had 24,879 members during the year that closed June, 30, 2001, also a record.
Bennett said there were many other reasons for the increase, including a change in the Life Member program, the Tiger Pride campaign and the growth of the endowment program. He reported that the Tiger Pride Campaign raised $7.5 million this past year (not included in the above $20 million total) and now has raised $23 million. The Tiger Pride Campaign has a goal of $65 million. “We have begun a lot of digging at our athletic facilities on campus and raising money for the Tiger Pride campaign will be our emphasis this year,” said Bennett. Construction has already begun on the new annex at Littlejohn Coliseum. Renovations to the South Side of Clemson Memorial Stadium will be ready by opening day. Further renovations to the West end of the stadium will begin after this football season.
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