Jamie Harper Runs the Show

By MikeBullock  |   Friday, August 20, 2010  |  Comments( 0 )

Clemson Tigers
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When the Clemson Tigers opened up football camp on day thirteen, head coach Dabo Swinney was hoping to see some brilliance. Once tailback Jamie Harper got his hands on the ball, however, Swinney got a front row seat for more than he’d hoped.

Harper took an early toss left and followed some great blocking as he quickly broke through to the second level. Twenty yards down field, he shrugged off the first defender to touch him and 59 yards later sophomore safety Jonathan Meeks finally brought him down. But, as onlookers would soon discover, Harper was just getting warmed up.

Deeper into the scrimmage, Harper took a pass down the sideline to pay dirt after running through an arm tackle and still he was just getting warmed up.

Near the end, he grabbed a clean handoff and shot through the middle of the line. Harper didn’t stop until he cruised into the end zone. All-in-all, the junior ended the day with 141 yards on nine carries with two scores. Not bad for a guy who spent last season buried in the shadow of C.J. Spiller.

Thomas Austin, ex-Clemson guard turned Minnesota Viking recently said, “Spiller is one of those electric guys that honestly can score every time he touches the ball, whether it’s running, catching a pass out of the backfield or returning a kick.” With Austin having a unique perspective on great running backs, having blocked for Spiller and now for Adrian Peterson, his praise of the Clemson run game carries some real weight.

Now that Spiller and Austin have moved on to the NFL, it’s up to guys like Jamie Harper to carry the Clemson tradition of rushing greatness into the future.

Another player who had a standout performance was the man many consider to be the feature back, Andre Ellington, who rushed for 57 yards on thirteen carries.

With the uncertainty of Kyle Parker’s future, now that he’s signed with the Colorado Rockies baseball team, a lot will ride on the legs of Clemson’s offensive line and running back corps this season if they hope to top their efforts from last year. While the word is that Parker remains Clemson’s starting field general, questions will undoubtedly arise about his commitment to the team, especially with the contractual promise professional glory waiting for him. Glory the potential of injury on the collegiate gridiron threatens.

Regardless of Parker’s status, however, Harper and Ellington are giving notice that the team will run and run all day if that’s what it takes to succeed in their 2010 campaign.
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