CLEMSON - Clemson coach Dabo Swinney announced at his pre-spring football press conference Tuesday that four players have been suspended for the 2014 opener at Georgia.
Defensive end Corey Crawford, offensive tackle Shaq Anthony, offensive guard David Beasley and cornerback Garry Peters will stay home during the Aug. 30 trip to Athens for a violation of team rules.
Swinney said the players were not arrested, but would not further detail their activities. A Pickens County Thirteenth Judicial Circuit public records search indicated the four players have not been charged with a crime.
"These guys have not robbed a bank. These are four really good young men, to be quite honest with you. Four guys that I love and care about a whole lot," Swinney said. "But they broke a team rule, it's just that simple. As a result, they're going to miss a game."
Three of the four players are originally from Georgia. Crawford and Beasley were high school teammates at Carver (Columbus, Ga.) and were in the Tigers' recruiting class of 2010. Peters is from Conyers, Ga., just 45 miles southwest of Athens.
Crawford started all 12 games last year, and his 101/2 tackles for loss ranked fourth on the Tigers. Beasley played in all 13 games last year, starting seven at left guard.
Anthony played in 10 games and started three at right tackle, while Peters appeared in 10 games as a reserve cornerback.
"A huge part of our program is teaching accountability, teaching responsibility, and that there's consequences for your actions. It's really just that simple," Swinney said.
"But I am very confident that all four of these guys will learn and grow from this, and go on and have a great 2014 season, both on and off the field."
Potential fill-in replacements for the opener include Shaq Lawson at defensive end, Eric Mac Lain at guard and Joe Gore at offensive tackle.
Georgia had multiple players suspended for last year's season-opening 38-35 loss at Clemson, including safety Josh Harvey-Clemons, who was dismissed from the Bulldogs' program Feb. 18 for a violation of team rules.
T.J. Green to safety
With a glut of wide receiving options and a dearth of safeties, sophomore T.J. Green will move from offense to defense starting with spring practices Wednesday.
"That's one I'm really excited about," Green said. "We know he can play wideout, but we just think he's one of the best athletes on our team. He's one of the fastest guys, has a great body, he's very physical, really did a great job on special teams for us this year, and he's going to get over there."
After recovering from a knee injury in fall camp, Green (6-3, 195) caught just two passes in 2013, one for four yards and another for minus-4 yards, while returning three kicks for a total of 60 yards.
He tweeted about his move to safety Feb. 17, adding he'll switch jersey numbers from No. 82 to No. 15.
"It's something he wanted to do," Swinney said, "so we'll see how it goes and go from there."
Perhaps the worst news Swinney received in the early part of this offseason was the Achilles tear suffered by redshirt freshman running back Tyshon Dye during winter workouts two weeks ago.
Dye was considered a top prospect to take over tailback duties in the spring; team doctors are hopeful he can return by late August.
"Heart just breaks for him, but I love Tyshon Dye," Swinney said.
"I just love how he has responded like a very, very mature young man. This young man is getting a huge dose of perseverance and patience at a very young age.
"The best thing about Tyshon is he's got nothing but time on his side. He's going to recover from this, he's going to come back, he's going to have a good freshman year, and this time next year he's going to be even better and getting ready to go into his sophomore year."
Dye was the top offensive prospect in Clemson's recruiting class of 2013, before a back injury sidelined him early and ankle surgery added to his health issues last fall.
"He's got four years left. I know everybody's frustrated because they have all these expectations on Tyshon Dye," Swinney said. "They want to see him yesterday, and so do I. We've all just got to have a little patience, just like he does. But he is going to be a great football player. I don't have any doubt about that. His attitude is incredible."
Junior wide receiver Charone Peake and junior linebacker Kellen Jones, each about five months removed from ACL reconstructive surgery, will be limited in the early stages of spring practices, with hopes to return to non-contact drills in late March.
Junior safety Travis Blanks, who is expected to move back to linebacker, is 11 weeks through his recovery from an ACL tear and will miss all of spring.
Also missing spring will be senior cornerback Martin Jenkins, who had surgery to correct a nagging shoulder injury six weeks ago.
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