Swinney says he's got most players for spring ball

By Pete Iacobelli

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, March 6 2012 10:30 a.m. MST

FILE - In this Jan. 13, 2011 file photo, Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney introduces three new assistant coaches, Tony Elliott, Chad Morris and Marion Hobby, at a news conference in Clemson, S.C. Swinney hired a new defensive coordinator in Brent Venables, kept offensive coordinator Chad Morris with a whopping contract and used a bunch of his own bonus money to help improve the pay of his other assists. He gets to see if any of it helps the Atlantic Coast Conference champions take the next step to competing for a BCS crown.

Anderson Independent-Mail, Mark Crammer, File) GREENVILLE NEWS OUT, SENECA NEWS OUT, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Clemson coach Dabo Swinney says most of his players will be at spring practice starting Wednesday, something he didn't have a year ago in starting the Tigers' Atlantic Coast Conference title-winning season.

Swinney says last season the Tigers had to wait on several key contributors like freshmen in All-American receiver Sammy Watkins and stellar linebacker Stephone Anthony.

This year, Clemson has those players in camp along with eight first-year guys who enrolled in January. The Tigers will be missing injured defenders in linebacker Tony Steward and safety Rashard Hall. They're also only waiting on 12 of their signees who plan to join the team during the summer.

The Tigers will feature a new defensive coordinator in Brent Venables, hired from Oklahoma in January to replace Kevin Steele.

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