Friends for life

CLEMSON - Andre Ellington hates that his good buddy Jamie Harper hasn't jumped out of the gate with the kind of production that he's seen through five games this season.

Ellington, who's third in the ACC with 87 yards rushing per game, leads Clemson with 435 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground. Harper's posted numbers of 238 yards and two scores.

"I know what he's capable of doing," Ellington said. "It kind of sucks to see how he's not producing like he wants to, at the moment. He's capable of being a homerun hitter. He's got to be patient. That's the advice I tell him…be patient, good things will come."

Harper's ground production in the three losses has been unimpressive. Against Auburn, he rushed 19 times for 44 yards. Two weeks later against Miami, Harper had 18 carries for 57 yards. He carried 11 times for 27 yards at North Carolina last weekend.

Still, he keeps an optimistic outlook.

"You can't look down," Harper said. "It's going to get there, eventually. I just have to keep doing what I do. Keep pressing the hole. It's going to pop.

"I look at that the same way how everybody looked at us last year. We lost three games and then lost to Maryland. Then, everybody was off the bandwagon. Then, when we were in the championship game, there wasn't a ticket to be found. That's kind of how it's going to be with me."

He also looked back to the Auburn game when he had a pair of touchdown receptions, one of which will be a staple on highlight reels this season.

"When I made a super catch, everybody was on me. Now, after two games, they're not. It's perfectly fine," Harper said.

It's not OK with Ellington.

"It's unfair. The ones that are criticizing him are the ones that have seen him make plays in the past," he said. "It's not fair for them to criticize him because he's not producing at the moment. The way he has to look at it, brush it off, and keep playing."

Ellington pulls even harder for Harper, as he goes through the tough times.

"I just want him to break one so it will shut everybody up," Ellington said.


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