Harper leaves Clemson for NFL

Harper leaves Clemson for NFL

Clemson junior running back Jamie Harper announced Sunday that he has signed with an agent and will enter his name in the 2011 NFL draft.

Harper is the second Clemson underclassman to announce he will turn professional. Last week, first-team All-American Da'Quan Bowers announced he would enter the NFL draft.

"I want to thank all the coaches at Clemson," said Harper. "That includes Coach (Dabo) Swinney, Coach (Andre) Powell, my position coach, and Coach (Joey) Batson and his strength staff. They all helped prepare me for the next level.

"I also want to thank my family who has been very supportive throughout this process.

"I especially want to thank my teammates who have helped me become a better player over the last three years. They have always been supportive. I wish the guys who will be returning next year the best."

Harper was Clemson's leader in rushing and all-purpose runner this year. The native of Jacksonville, FL had 197 carries for 760 yards and seven rushing touchdowns in 2010. He added 35 receptions for 328 yards and three touchdowns receiving, giving him 1088 yards from scrimmage and 10 touchdowns for the season. The reception total was the third highest total for a running back in Clemson history.

Harper was Clemson's second leading receiver in terms of receptions and tied for second in reception touchdowns. His 10 total touchdowns were second on the team behind Andre Ellington's 12. Harper had consecutive games with at least 140 yards rushing late in the season. He had 27 rushes for 143 yards at Florida State and 24 for 142 the next week at Wake Forest. He was the first Clemson back in five years to have consecutive games with at least 140 yards rushing.

He also had nine receptions for 54 yards against Florida State, giving him 197 yards from scrimmage against the Seminoles in Clemson's narrow, 16-13, loss. The nine receptions were a single game Clemson record for a Clemson running back.

"I certainly wanted Jamie to remain at Clemson for his senior year," said Dabo Swinney. "But, I thank him for his contributions to our program the last three years. He represented our school and our program well. He was a fun player to coach because he gave us everything he had in every practice and every game."

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