<
>

Opening camp: Clemson

As summer camp begins, I'll do a quick hit on each team the day they start practicing. The ACC opens today with Clemson and NC State. We'll start with the Tigers.

Schedule: Practice will run from 6 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. Fan day is Aug. 22.

What’s new: The face of the running game. Andre Ellington and Jamie Harper will take over as the primary ball carriers as Clemson becomes more of a running team, even with Kyle Parker back. With four returning starters on the offensive line, expect the Tigers to run.

Sidelined: Backup offensive guard Wilson Norris tore his ACL in spring practice and could return by November.

Key battle: Defensively, it’s Brandon Thompson vs. Miguel Chavis at nose guard. Thompson is the returning starter, but Chavis has experience and will play a lot. Offensively, watch the guard spot where David Smith will push Mason Cloy. Cloy broke his leg in the ACC championship game, leaving the reps to Smith this past spring. Smith has the upper hand entering summer camp.

New on the scene: Linebacker Quandon Christian. The 6-foot-4 redshirt freshman is listed as the starter at strongside linebacker, which is impressive considering he started spring ball with the third team.

Breaking out: Receiver Xavier Dye. He has to. Somebody has to. Without Jacoby Ford, the Tigers need a dependable receiver to step up. Dye, a senior, was fourth on the team in receptions last year with 14 for 236 yards.

Don’t forget about: Fullback Chad Diehl. Even though he doesn’t carry the ball much, Diehl has as important a role as anyone because of his blocking ability and he is key to the running game.

All eyes on: Quarterback Kyle Parker. His decision to return to the team instantly increased the Tigers’ chances of repeating as Atlantic Division champs. How much will he improve upon his record-setting freshman season?

Quotable: “I pretty much thought I was gone,” -- Clemson quarterback Kyle Parker on deciding whether or not to join the Colorado Rockies in a baseball-only contract.