Jimbo Fisher spoke to media Thursday after an afternoon scrimmage in Doak that lasted for a couple of hours. The biggest news of the day was EJ Manuel's absence, which has been covered thoroughly at this point throughout the day, but Fisher also had updates on a handful of other injuries.
Speaking for the first time about Dan Hicks since his knee injury earlier this week, Fisher said Hicks has an issue with cartilage in his knee and would have to have it scoped. He estimated it would shelve the redshirt junior for three to four weeks, a prognosis that's not too bad, considering Hicks was on crutches this week.
Another injury Fisher addressed was one to Jacob Fahrenkrug. He didn't give specifics on what happened, but said it was a serious ankle problem and that it would keep him out for a while. Other players who missed the scrimmage today included Greg Dent and Daniel Glauser, though Fisher said neither was serious. Dent fell on his elbow yesterday and had some swelling that the coaches held him out on account of. Glauser has a minor issue with his foot, but practiced yesterday and was held out due to some swelling today. He is also expected back in a couple of days.
Fisher said he believes the team is good to go academically as of right now after the scrimmage, too (this seems as official an update as we'll receive on Timmy Jernigan, since grades were released early Wednesday morning and Jernigan practiced Wednesday and scrimmaged Thursday).
As for the scrimmage itself, he said he was pleased with the offensive line's physicality, specifically on run blocking. He noted that the matchup between the offensive and defensive lines has become much more of a battle during this fall camp than it was last year. Overall, he deemed it a solid scrimmage and said the team is ahead of where it was at this time a year ago.
Another topic addressed was the ongoing battle to replace Greg Reid. Fisher said that the job is still open, praising both Nick Waisome and Ronald Darby's play. He again raved about Darby though, and said he wouldn't have a problem starting a freshman at corner if he was ready.
The weather was typically stifling for August in Tallahassee, and Fisher said he wanted the scrimmage in the heat of the day to help the players get used to it and make the heat of Tallahassee an advantage for his team. He did say that he thought the team could have finished better, though he chalked it up more to mental drop-offs rather than a lack of physical conditioning to handle the conditions.
Notes and Quotes:
-Fisher was also highly praiseful of Greg Dent once again. "Greg Dent's had the best fall of all of them[the wideouts]," he said of Dent's work in fall camp. "I told the guys, he's my sleeper pick."
-"If we had a game, he would've played."- Fisher, on EJ Manuel's precautionary absence from the scrimmage.
-"It's a battle now, it's ‘you get me, I get you.'"- Fisher, on the increased competition between the offensive and defensive lines in camp. When asked if it was like that last year, Fisher frankly answered "No."
-"How did Clemson like starting Sammy Watkins?"- Fisher, when asked how he felt about possibly starting the true freshman Darby at corner this year
-"This has got to be our advantage, not our disadvantage," said Fisher on scrimmaging in the heat of the day. "We've got to thrive on it."
Chris Thompson and Tank Carradine were available to media after practice as well.
-Carradine also said he expects to see more total snaps this year, as he has been taking some reps at both defensive end positions.
-"He's looking great-big, fast, strong," said Carradine of Menelik Watson. "If he grabs you, or pushes you or punches you, it's kind of like impossible." Watson played the entire time at first team right tackle with Glauser out.
-Thompson was tackled in the scrimmage for the first time since his horrific injury last season, and said it felt good to get his first real contact since then behind him. "I felt good after I got the first couple tackles in to be honest," he said.
"That was one of the fears I had for a while, and now that that fear is gone, I feel really good about it."- Thompson, on taking his first hit in almost a year.
-"I know EJ is a tough guy," Thompson said of his thoughts on seeing Manuel shaken up yesterday. "Honestly, it's not much that will keep EJ off the field."
-"They are being very physical and doing a good job"- Thompson, on running behind the new-look offensive line.
-"I think I might be looking more forward to it than anybody else"- Thompson, on if he's excited for the season to begin so he can officially return to the field for the first time since his injury.
-"Devonta really does love contact, so getting that first hit from Moody, it did something to him mentally."- Thompson, offering his thoughts on how his fellow running back Devonta Freeman handled his own return to getting popped in practice after missing spring with a back issue. Fisher said that Freeman and Moody had an extremely physical collision during a goal line drill.
-The following players missed the scrimmage: QB EJ Manuel (ankle), OT Daniel Glauser (foot), WR Greg Dent (elbow), TE Dan Hicks (knee),CB Keelin Smith (knee), DT Jacobbi McDaniel (ankle), DT Anthony McCloud (chest), OL Garrett Faircloth (hip)...OL Jacob Fahrenkrug suffered an ankle sprain during the scrimmage.