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August 20, 2012
CLEMSON, S.C. -- Clemson Offensive Coordinator Chad Morris says he feels comfortable with his starting offensive line heading into fall camp, but he still needs a few more guys to step up to make him feel the same about the overall depth.
"We have to get other guys ready," Morris said after the first of two practices Monday. "We have to at least have seven to eight that we can get ready and get going, and a lot is going to depend on where Gifford Timothy is on game week. It is kind of hard to tell right now.
"We feel like he is going to be back, but I don't know if he will be in a situation where he is ready to play. With Dalton (Freeman) in there, he gives us another dimension. Our confidence level is definitely high when he is in there. Hopefully, we will have it set for him in there."
The last three practices have been the best ones for the offensive line since camp started according to Morris.
"We had to really challenge those guys almost to the point of being ugly," he said. "I hate to be ugly, but sometimes being nice does not work. But, they responded and that has been good to see."
Morris says David Beasley will be his starting left guard when the 14th-ranked Tigers' open the season on Sept. 1 against No. 25 Auburn in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff. Shaq Anthony right now is penciled in at right tackle, while Brandon Thomas (left tackle), Freeman (center) and Tyler Shatley (right guard) round out the starting offensive line.
Clemson is hoping to have Timothy ready to practice at almost full speed by next Monday if indeed he is to be used in the Auburn game.
"It is going to be our evaluation at that point," Morris said. "We will look at his footwork and see where he is from a mental standpoint. So it's hard to tell right now, but if he can't go next Monday and Tuesday, then he can't play."
Morris said Cole Stoudt has beat out Morgan Roberts and Chad Kelly for the backup quarterback role. He thought Kelly did a good job pushing Stoudt and Roberts in camp and made a strong case for perhaps being used this season if need be.
At tight end, Morris says Brandon Ford and Stanton Seckinger are the first and second teamers, while Sam Cooper isn't far behind at third team.
"Brandon and Stanton are the two guys that will give us the most versatility," Morris said.
Morris says with camp wrapping up today they have begun preparation for Auburn. He says they have started to look at film and have done some talking in position meetings. Auburn has a new defensive coordinator in Brian VanGorder, who came from the NFL's Atlanta Falcons.
"We have done some things in practice and have started to turn that page," Morris said. "We have been watching a lot of video. If you name it, we have been watching it."
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