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Saturday, August 8, 2009
Around the ACC: FSU's Givens earns scholarship

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

A few odds n' ends from Friday practice reports around the league to get you through until Monday ...

FLORIDA STATE

FSU opened practice on Friday, and a pair of former walk-ons, senior wide receiver Louis Givens and grad student long-snapper Zach Aronson, have earned scholarships for the 2009 season. Bowden made the announcement at the conclusion of the first practice.

"It's a great feeling," said Givens, a Jacksonville native. "I have always felt like I was a part of the team since I got here because the coaches and players treat you right. The staff is great at making you feel welcome. But now that it's official that I am on scholarship, it's a great feeling to not have to worry about paying for school. Now I can focus more on class and football and not have to worry about that in the back of my mind."

Givens caught four passes for 44 yards and rushed three times for 32 yards as a reserve last season. He also recorded 13 special teams tackles.

Aronson handled all the Seminoles special teams snaps last season -- a job he's expected to hold -- and was virtually flawless.

Also good news for the Noles, as reported by Andrew Carter of the Orlando Sentinel, wide receiver Taiwan Easterling and running back Tavares Pressley participated at full strength.

CLEMSON

Clemson had its fourth practice of the preseason on Friday evening on the practice fields behind the Jervey Athletic Center. Saturday night's practice will be the final day of the NCAA mandated five-day acclimatization period.

"I was encouraged by the way the team worked today," said coach Dabo Swinney. "They have been a focused group and that is important. Champions are not born, they are made and you have to have a daily commitment . They have to be focused on every play. I have talked to the team time and again about six seconds. Each play is giving full effort for six seconds at a time."

Swinney talked about the play of his defense after practice. "The defensive side of the ball has played well. There were oame great thuds out there today. DeAndre McDaniel had a great thud on Andre Ellington towards the end of the practice. He has really played well in the preseason. Marcus Gilchrist had a strong day in the secondary as well."

Gilchrist had two interceptions during the drills.

"I think we can be special in the secondary this year. Chris Chancellor and Crezdon Butler are both on the Thorpe Award Watch List (announced today) and we are the only team in the country with both of our starting cornerbacks on that list. They are having a great camp as well.

"And, I am very pleased with what I see from Ricky Sapp. He looks like he is wide open to me. We will have some physical practices coming up in full pads and it will be interesting to see how he does."

Swinney also commented on the fact that Clemson was not ranked in the preseason top 25 of the USA Today Coaches poll. "That doesn't bother me one bit. I have said many times before whether we are ranked in the preseason or not really doesn't matter. It will all be decided by the end of the year when we play the games on the field."

Jacoby Ford and J.K. Jay continued to miss practice and were both in yellow jerseys due to injury.

WAKE FOREST

Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe put the Demon Deacons through a two-hour practice on Friday afternoon at the Doc Martin Football Practice Complex.

The team wore shorts and jerseys along with helmets. The majority of the practice was spent going through station drills.

"I thought we flew around pretty good for a first practice," said Grobe. "The guys had a pretty good feeling of what to do. Typically, when you have as many young guys as we do, you think they won't have much recall. We didn't put too much in on the first day but their recall from spring practice was really good."

The team will practice in shorts and jerseys through the weekend before going to shells on Monday. The first practice in full pads is set for Wednesday, August 12.