Clemson was forced to take its practice indoors Thursday afternoon after a storm blew thru the Upstate but that didn’t slow down Dabo Swinney or his players as they continued their preparations for the season opener at Georgia a week from Saturday.
Clemson junior offensive tackle Shaq Anthony will transfer to another school. Anthony met with Tigers Head Coach Dabo Swinney on Thursday morning to discuss his decision.
“I have enjoyed my time at Clemson and appreciate the opportunity I’ve had,” said Anthony. “This is an outstanding program, but I wish to make a clean start at a program where I can hopefully be a starter. I want to thank all the Clemson coaches, my teammates and the Clemson family for their support. I will always be a Tiger.”
Anthony lettered in 2012 and 2013 and played in 17 games over those two years, five as a starter. He redshirted the 2011 season and was listed as a backup offensive tackle entering fall camp. The native of Williamston, S.C. played in 10 games last year for the Tigers’ 11-2 team that finished seventh in the final USA Today Coaches Poll.
“I appreciate the hard work Shaq has put into this program,” said Swinney. “Sometimes a player needs a change. I support his decision and will help him any way I can. I wish him nothing but the best.”
Clemson junior running back Zac Brooks, Clemson’s top returning rusher from last season, suffered a foot injury Monday night in practice and will be lost for the season.
“Zac was having an outstanding camp and was ready for a terrific year,” said Head Coach Dabo Swinney. “The plan is for Zac to sit out this year due to the injury and come back next year as a red-shirt junior. This is a big loss because he is such a reliable player in all phases of the game. He knows the offense inside and out.”
The native of Jonesboro, Ark, has played 18 games the last two years and has 74 carries for 365 yards and two touchdowns. He also has nine receptions for 92 yards and a score. The receiving touchdown came last year against Georgia in the season opener when he caught a 31-yard scoring pass from Tajh Boyd in Clemson’s 38-35 victory.
In 2013, Brooks had 48 carries for 246 yards, third on the team in rushing yards behind Roderick McDowell and Tajh Boyd. He had a 5.1 average and score two touchdowns in 2013.
The Clemson football team is in full Georgia mode now. The Tigers are gearing their work towards the season opener at Georgia a week from Saturday. The game will mark the debut of Cole Stoudt as the Tigers’ starting quarterback.
He has waited in the wings behind Tajh Boyd the last three seasons and now Dabo Swinney and Chad Morris have given him the keys to the offense.
Of course, waiting in the wings now is true freshman Deshawn Watson and he, too, will see the field.
The Tigers practiced Tuesday afternoon and Swinney and Stoudt talked with the media after the workout.
Clemson wide receiver Charone Peake practiced practiced Monday with full clearance from team doctors for the first time since tearing his ACL in the Citadel game last November. Doctors have been cautious in bringing Peake along thru his rehab being careful not to rush things.
But with less than two weeks before the season opener, the decision was made to let Peake run at full speed Monday. His return to health would certainly bolster a Clemson receiving corps with as much youth and inexperience as talent.