April 6, 2002
Spring Practice Information
Clemson, SC – Junior running back Chad Jasmin scored three touchdowns and wide receiver Airese Currie had 99 yards receiving on three catches to highlight action in the Clemson Spring Football Game. 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 is undergoing 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. Clifford Harrell scored the only other rushing touchdown on a one-yard run. Wide receiver Derrick Hamilton had the only score receiving on a 19-yard catch from 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 will graduate 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. Third string QB Joe Bever was 2-7 for 34 yards.
The top receiver in terms of number of catches was Eugene Koon, a walk-on who caught six passes for 54 yards. Hamilton had 4-74 and the touchdown, while 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. Eric Meekins stood out with nine tackles, including eight first hits, and he also recovered a fumble. John Leake, Clemson’s leading returning tackler from last year, had 13 tackles, including 10 first hits. Leroy Hill had 12 tackles, while Mo Fountain had six tackles, including a pair of sacks. J.J. Howard also had two sacks among his three tackles. David Dunham had seven tackles from a linebacker postion. In addition to Meekins’s takeaway, Todd McClinton had a fumble recovery, Toure Francis had an interception and Terrance Huey had a 52-yard interception return.
Altroy Bodrick, a strong safety returning in 2002 after missing 2001 with a torn ACL, sat out the scrimmage, as did wide receiver Roscoe Crosby, who is working out for the Kansas City Royals on the weekends in the spring. He will play professional baseball this summer. Wide receiver 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. ” 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 Chad Jasmin and some improving players on defense. “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.
“Chad Jasmin is rounding into form. He has two years left and has made strong improvement. He ran well today. He can help us as a fullback or tailback. 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 Eric Meekins played well, Mo Fountain continued to make some plays on the defensive line, something he has done all spring. David Dunham made some strong hits also.
“Overall, we got a lot out of this spring.”
Clemson Spring Game Statistics Rushing (Att-Yds-TD) Chad Jasmin 13-68-3, Willie Simmons 6-48, Bernard Rambert 3-23, Kyle Browning 4-20, Keith Kelly, 5-20, Lionel Richardson 7-17, Cliff Harrell 5-10-1, Britt Sherman 1-3, Tyrone Lee 3-3, Brandon Holmes 1-1, Charlie Whitehurst 9- (-23)
Passing (Att-Com-Int-Yds-TD) Willie Simmons 13-25-0-198-1, Charlie Whitehurst 20-26-2-174, Joe Bever 2-7-0-34
Receiving (Rec-Yds-TD) Eugene Koon 6-54, Derrick Hamilton 4-74-1, Bobby Williamson 4-47, Airese Currie 3-99, Jackie Robinson 3-21, Ronnie Thomas 3-15, Tony Elliott 2-24, J.J. McKelvey 2-12, Gene Pate 1-30, Ben Hall 1-6
Interceptions Toure Francis 1-0
Fumble Recoveries: Meekins, McClinton Caused Fumbles: Mance, Feaster Passes 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,
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