CLEMSON -- Head football coach Dabo Swinney has an idea to liven up spring practice -- have Clemson play an exhibition game against another team.
"Let's go play Georgia," Swinney said. "Don't you think that could generate some good money with all the Clemson fans and Georgia fans? Let's split the gate down the middle."
Swinney noted at the high school and NFL levels teams play other teams in exhibition games. So Clemson's coach figures why not at the college level?
"You get tired of going against each other," Swinney said.
Of course Swinney's exhibition game would still resemble a spring game.
Quarterbacks would be off limits, there would be red-zone situational work, and the coaches would agree beforehand when to play the first team and when to play the second- and third-string players.
And Swinney wouldn't want to play anyone on the upcoming schedule.
"You don't want to spend spring game-planning for another team," Swinney said, "we are not going to max blitz. The NFL does it all the time, practicing against each other. Plus, I think you would generate a lot of revenue and that's the opportunity I see in this."
Clemson worked in pads, and in the rain, for the first time this spring.
Most impressive was the work of running backs Jamie Harper and Andre Ellington. Each had a long touchdown run.
Harper, a junior, and Ellington, a sophomore, figure to split the majority of work at running back this fall, with redshirt freshman Roderick McDowell also in the mix.
While the Tigers will be hard pressed to match Spiller's production as a returner and receiver, Swinney is confident the Tigers will maintain an effective ground game. As Swinney notes, Ellington (7.2 ypc) actually had a higher rushing average than Spiller (5.6 ypc) last year. Harper averaged 5.2 yards per carry. Swinney also likes Harper's hands and his 225-pound body as a blocker in the passing game.
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