Saturday, July 12, 2008

Early Looks: QB Cullen Harper (Clemson)

Leading the Clemson Tigers into 2008 is returning QB Cullen Harper, field leader of one of the top offenses in the all of College Football. The 6'4'' 220 pound Senior established 21 school records last year, throwing for 2,991 yards 27 TD's and only 6 INT's in 13 games. The offense averaged 403 yards/game and ranked in the Top 5 in the nation in both rushing and passing.

Harper will have plenty of targets this season as 7 of 11 starters return, including RB James Davis (1,064 yards rushing, 10 TD's) , RB C.J Spiller (1,723 'all-purpose' yards), WR Aaron Kelly (88 catches 1,081 yards receiving, 11 TD's) and WR Tyler Grisham (60 catches 653 yards receiving, 4 TD's).

When behind center, Harper makes good decisions, displays leadership on/off the field, and has excellent speed for a QB. He lacks arm strength but makes up for it with accurate throws underneath allowing his receivers to make big plays. He has good size and a big frame, shows toughness by standing in the pocket and will take big hits. He likes to get rid of the ball quickly and uses good technique in his 3 step drops. Occasionally he will throw off his back foot causing the ball to sail over the middle and he likes to work primarily out of the shot gun formation.

Look for Harper to have a big year in the ACC this season. While he has solidified himself as the QB and captain of the team, keep an eye out on Freshman QB Willy Korn to see some snaps throughout the season as well. If the Tigers build on their 9-3 record, expect some Heisman Trophy consideration and early 2009 NFL Draft hype for Harper.

Noteworthy games: Aug 30th vs. Alabama; Nov 1st at Boston College; Nov. 8th at Florida St

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