Clemson practice notes

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Here's what came in from Clemson's sports information office Thursday night:

Dabo Swinney put his team through a near three-hour practice on Thursday afternoon at the practice fields behind the Jervey Athletic Center. He finished the practice with a four-period (20 minute) offense vs. defense competition. There was no tackling, but it was a good opportunity to have the team work on their assignments.

"We had a good day of practice," said Swinney. "The receivers showed progress today. There is a strong competition going on. Jacoby Ford is obviously the leader, but Marquan Jones has done very well and is poised to have a standout year. Kyle Johnson made a nice catch on a long pass today from Willy Korn. Terrence Ashe has looked good as well. The receivers are competing hard."

Swinney was again impressed with Rendrick Taylor today.

"He stood out again today. He is really a load to tackle, but he is light on his feet. He will see action at a number of positions. He ran hard today. Dwayne Allen also stood out at tight end. He caught a long pass from Taj Boyd and made some other nice catches.

"On defense, Scott Cooper made some plays in coverage situations and DeAndre McDaniel had an interception on a pass over the middle."

Swinney also said the punting game was good today.

"Both Dawson Zimmerman and Richard Jackson had a good day punting the ball. They had hang time between 4.6 and 4.7 and that is what you want. We should be good on special teams overall. With C.J. Spiller and Jacoby Ford we should have the best return combination in the country."

Swinney stayed after to practice as he is looking for a backup snapper and backup holder. Freshman Matt Skinner is the first team snapper and has done well, and Mike Wade is the first team holder. Among the snapper prospects is tight end Michael Palmer. Kyle Parker worked as a holder during that session.

Offensive tackle J.K. Jay and preseason All-ACC wide receiver Jacoby Ford were the only players who missed practice due to injury. Jay is out with a back injury and Ford has a hamstring injury. Both ran on the side during the practice.