The Clemson football team returned to the practice fields behind the Jervey Athletic Center for the fourth straight day on Thursday. The Tigers worked for over two hours, but that work will increase on Friday.
Friday is the first day of two-a-day practices for Dabo Swinney’s Tigers, who are preparing to play Troy for the first time, on September 3 at Death Valley. Clemson is scheduled to have four two-a-day practices during the preseason, but three of them will come over the next six days.
“We will work for about two hours in the morning on Friday, then work for just over an hour at night,” said Swinney. “We will work in shorts at night and that will be a teaching tempo practice that will get us ready for Saturday’s scrimmage.”
Clemson worked on goal line situations for the first time on Thursday. “We worked on goal line quite a bit. We were not as good as we need to be on both sides of the ball, but it was the first day. We will work more on it on Saturday when we are in the stadium. While there were mistakes, they worked hard. I saw a good work ethic.”
Two areas stood out for Swinney on Thursday, ball security and the play of the receivers. “It was a very good day as far as ball security was concerned. That is obviously an area of emphasis because we have so many young skill position players. We have to create good work habits at an early stage with all these young players.
“I was impressed with the way our receivers caught the ball. They showed good concentration. It was a good day for Jaron Brown.
“Andre Ellington also looked very sharp. He is certainly a difference maker.”
The Tigers ended the practice with sprints for the first time. The pace of practice is intense so the Tigers don’t need much conditioning work at the end of the day. They have been moving at a swift pace all day.
Swinney also talked to the team about the new celebration rule in effect for 2011. The new rule will take touchdowns off the board when players celebrate on their way to the endzone or in the endzone. “It is no longer just a 15-yard penalty on the next kickoff,” said Swinney to the team. “They are going to take the touchdown off the board and move the ball back 15 yards from the spot of the foul.”
Senior defensive tackle Rennie Moore returned to practice after missing one day with a slight knee problem. The only player in yellow on Thursday was reserve defensive back Garry Peters, who has a bruised calf muscle.
All practices and scrimmages are closed to the public, but the team will hold its annual Fan Appreciation Day on Sunday, August 21 from 4:30 PM to 6:30 pM at Clemson Memorial Stadium.