April 7, 2001
Clemson, SC – Kevin Youngblood caught 11 passes for 142 yards to lead the offense, while rising sophomore John Leake had 10 tackles and an interception return for a touchdown to lead the defense in Clemson’s annual Spring Football Game at Death Valley on Saturday afternoon. A sun-drenched crowd of over 15,000 viewed the contest that ended spring drills for Tommy Bowden’s Tigers.
The scrimmage was an offense vs. defense format, the offense wore orange and the defense wore white. Each drive started at the 30-yard line. It was competitive in nature as the number-one offense faced the number-one defense, then the number-two offense would go against the number-two defense. It was that way throughout the two-hour scrimmage. The offense gained 159 yards rushing on 53 attempts, and connected on 33 of 68 passes for 404 yards. The defense did force six turnovers.
Three rushing touchdowns were scored on the day, one by Bernard Rambert, one by Chad Jasmin and one by Willie Simmons. Two field goals were kicked, one by Aaron Hunt (49 yards) and one by Tony Lazzara (22 yards)
Simmons quarterbacked the number-one offense to a field goal on the very first drive, a 49-yarder by rising sophomore Aaron Hunt. It was boot that was well received by the crowd. Simmons also quarterbacked the offense on a 70-yard drive later in the half, a drive he culminated with a nine-yard run of his own.
Simmons, who worked with the number-one offense all spring as Woodrow Dantzler worked on the sidelines recovering from an upper leg injury, completed 21 of 39 passes for 240 yards. He had six rushes for four yards. Many of his passes were to Youngblood, a rising sophomore who hopes to fill some of the void left by All-American Rod Gardner’s graduation. Youngblood, who is from the same hometown and high school as Gardner (Jacksonville, FL, Raines) had 11-142 receiving, including a 47-yarder that set up a score.
Other receivers had fine days in addition to Youngblood. Tony Elliott, a walk-on, had three catches for 88 yards, including a 51-yard reception from Matt Schell. Matt Bailey, who was injured at the end of last season, had five catches for 75 yards. Derrick Hamilton, who red-shirted last year, had three catches for 37 yards.
Four other quarterbacks threw passes in the scrimmage. Matt Schell had his second straight impressive spring game and hit 8-14 passes for 143 yards. Last year he was 10-18 for 187 in the spring game. Freshman Brian Carr hit 3-8 for 17 yards. Joe Bever was 1-4 and Brandon Cantrell was 0-3.
Bernard Rambert led the running backs with 14-108, including a 53-yard run to set up a score. Chad Jasmin had 6-22 and a score.
Leake, a freshman who is playing the new $ (Star safety) position, had 10 tackles, including three tackles for loss. The sophomore from Texas also had an interception return of 57 yards for a score. He caught a pass from Matt Schell that had been tipped and ran it in for a touchdown, the only defensive score of the day.
Brian Mance also had 10 tackles in the secondary, while Altroy Bodrick had nine. Kevin Johnson had seven stops, while Braxton k. Williams added six stops. Freshman Donnell Washington had four tackles at defensive tackle, including a tackle for a loss, a caused fumble and a recovered fumble. Chad Carson, Clemson’s top tackler last year, had five tackles, including an interception.
Overall, Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden’s was pleased with the performance this spring. “We accomplished about 90 percent of what we set out to do for the spring,” said Bowden. “We had some injuries to some key players going in, but we didn’t have any new injuries that will keep players out in the fall.
“We were able to get a lot of work for some younger players. I am always looking for consistencey. I thought Willie Simmons played well today, better than he has in previous scrimmages. We want competition at the quarterback position and every position.
‘We still need depth in the defensive line and the secondary. We hopefully will get some help when the freshman class reports in the fall. There were quite a few zero yards running plays in the middle today and that tells me there were some plays made on the line today.”
Rushing (Att-Yds-TD) Rambert 14-108-1, Jasmin 6-22-1, Huey 8-18-0 White 2-13-0, Kelly 9-10-0, Robinson 1-6-0, Simmons 6-4-1, Harley 1-2-0, Carr 3- (-4), Schell 3-(-20) Totals 53-159-3
Passing (Com-Att-Yds-TD-Int) Simmons 21-39-240-0-2, Schell 8-14-0-1, Carr 3-8-0-0, Bever 1-4-0-0-0, Cantrell 0-3-0-0-0
Receiving (Rec-Yds) Youngblood 11-142, Bailey 5-75, Elliott 3-88, McKelvey 3-24, Hamilton 3-37, Gardner 2-5, Kelly 2-11, Robinson 1-4, Thomas 1-10, Reames 1-5, Rambert 1-3
Tackles: Leake 10, Mance 10, Bodrick 9, Johnson 7, Williams 6, Carson 5
Interceptions: Leake 1-57, Carson 1-0, Houskins 1-0
Fumble Return: Hafley 1-7
For complete coverage of the Orange & White game including player and coach audio visit
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