|Clemson QB Cullen Harper has shoulder surgery, expected to be ready for bowl game|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 26 November 2007 18:38|
Left guard Chris McDuffie, selected to the all-Atlantic Coast Conference first team, also had surgery on his elbow, which had been in a large protective covering the past few games.
The team said McDuffie would also return for postseason practice and the bowl game. A third player, reserve defensive tackle Jarvis Jenkins, had a procedure on his wrist.
The operations on Harper, McDuffie and Jenkins came two days after Clemson wrapped up its regular season with a 23-21 victory at rival South Carolina.
Harper, a junior who started for the first time this season, played throughout the victory over the Gamecocks and rallied the Tigers with four crucial completions to Aaron Kelly on the game-winning drive.
The final throw, an 18 yarder to Kelly, set up Mark Buchholz's 35-yard field goal as time expired.
``He's done that all year,'' Clemson coach Tommy Bowden said Saturday. ``I think the job he's done in his first year playing - we lost four offensive linemen from last year's team - I thought he did well.''
Harper finished 28-of-38 for 229 yards and his 27th touchdown pass against South Carolina. Earlier this season, he broke the school's season mark of 21 touchdown passes shared by Woody Dantzler and Charlie Whitehurst.
Harper appeared to hurt his shoulder this month against Boston College. Athletic department policy prevents the school from revealing whether it was his right or left shoulder, spokesman Tim Bourret said.
Harper ran for a 4-yard score, leaping to cross the goal line and landing hard in the fourth quarter. The play gave Clemson a 17-13 lead, but Matt Ryan rallied the Eagles with a TD pass of his own for a 20-17 victory.
Harper played Clemson's final series and threw a perfect-looking ball near the end zone that slipped through Kelly's hands.
Harper was chosen second-team all-ACC by the league's media. He led the conference in pass efficiency, completing 67 percent of his throws for 2,887 yards with only six interceptions.
He set a school record with five TD passes in a 49-26 win over Louisiana-Monroe in September, then matched that effort in October during a 70-14 victory against Central Michigan.