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Tigers keeping the Pressure on in Practice

Aug. 11, 1999

CLEMSON, S.C. – Head Coach Tommy Bowden worked his Clemson football team for nearly six hours in the hot sun over two practices on Wednesday. The Tigers continue to work in shoulder pads and shorts at two practices per day. They will do it all again in 90-degree heat on Thursday. Friday they will wear full uniform for the first time.

In general, the team showed progress in terms of conditioning. “We had 14 players take IVs after last night’s practice,” said Bowden, who is preparing his team for the season opener on September 4 against Marshall, a team ranked in the top 25 of many preseason polls. “That was not out of the ordinary, we had 15 for the first practice at Tulane. It seemed as if there were fewer players taken off today.” Clemson trainers reported that a much lower number of players required IVs on Wednesday evening.

“We have talked about the players who have required IVs and a few veterans have not come back in the best possible shape, but there are nearly 100 players who have made it through both practices and are giving 100 percent. Overall, I am pleased with the leadership I have seen. I really don’t want to single anyone out in that area for fear of leaving some one out.”

Bowden was asked after practice how the freshmen were fitting in with the varsity and the first-year Clemson coach singled out some players. “Willie Simmons has played well, he is a contender at quarterback at this point. The two freshmen have looked good at running back (Chad Jasmin and Bernard Rambert) and Kevin Youngblood has played well at wide receiver.

“On defense, Rodney Thomas stripped the ball in a schell drill and Brian Mance has looked good in the secondary. Kevin Johnson has also been a pleasant surprise on defense, as has Khaleed Vaughan.”

Bowden said only one player missed both practices Wednesday due to injury, Jermyn Chester. The highly regarded offensive lineman had already moved to second team, but missed both practices Wednesday with a slight knee injury. No other player was in a yellow jersey on Wednesday.

Notes: For the second straight day a member of Clemson’s Ring of Honor attended practice…former Tiger All-American and National Championship team captain Jeff Davis was in attendance for most of the practice…Banks McFadden attended the afternoon practice on Tuesday…Clemson will hold its annual Fan Appreciation Day on Sunday between 3:00 PM and 5:00 PM in Littlejohn Coliseum…T.J. Watkins, who was moved from tight end to tackle on Tuesday, has switched from #88 to #73.