For the most part, COVID-19 protocols are not affecting the way Clemson practices compared to last year.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said his team is split up during parts of practice, but that is no different than how the Tigers have run practice during his 12 seasons there. Clemson has always run its individual position drills at different parts of the practice fields and the offensive and defensive units have always worked on different fields for the majority of practice.
The only time the team truly comes together is when the Tigers run their good-on-good periods, which Swinney confirmed following Wednesday’s practice is a little different this year.
“When we do the good-on-good, everybody has to be off and spread out and all of that type of stuff,” he said. “We are just trying to be mindful of the close contact, which is within six feet, within two yards for fifteen minutes.
“So, we try to be very, very mindful. Anytime you are near somebody, the clock is ticking. Everybody is doing a good job, but as far as a split squad, we are not practicing at different times or anything like that. We are all out here, but we are very seldom all in one spot.”
Clemson will work in full pads for the first time today (Thursday). Swinney said the Tigers were in shells on Wednesday, which is helmets, shoulder pads and shorts. The team practiced at Jervey Meadows for the first time in camp.
“We are in that camp mode, full speed now in trying to get ready,” Swinney said. “We have a great plan as far as how we are going to get our team ready. School starts next Wednesday. We just have a few more days of camp and then we get into school mode, which is a totally different schedule.
“We have some recovery time built in for these guys as well on the way. We will have a little bit more time before we play.”
Swinney said the Tigers will practice in full pads Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
In past years, Clemson has gone to full pads in practice five, the first day the NCAA allows teams to practice in full pads as part of the acclamation process. Thursday’s practice will be the seventh official day of fall camp.
Clemson is scheduled to open the season on Sept. 12 at Wake Forest.
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