Whitehurst Leaves On Top

ORLANDO – Charlie Whitehurst has never been the kind of person to wear his emotions on his sleeve. When things are good, he doesn't get too excited and when they are bad, he doesn't get too upset. He is as stoic a football player as they come.

When the clock wound down on his final days as a Tiger, he didn't get all emotional and soft. He more or less acted as if it wasn't a big deal. And maybe it wasn't.

"I think after the South Carolina game, even though it wasn't the last game, it was really," he said. "That one was probably more emotional than this one, but this is still extremely important."

Whitehurst leaves Clemson with four wins over the Gamecocks, two bowl wins, two more wins over Florida State and the holder of 41 school records. However, he's been through a lot of down times as well.

His freshman year was rough, but that didn't compare to last season when he had just seven touchdowns compared to 17 interceptions. And even though he had little help offensively coaching wise and player wise, he never blamed anybody else for his difficulties.

He kept a business-like attitude, which is exactly the type of relationship he had with Tigers head coach Tommy Bowden. The two weren't exactly best of friends and they didn't speak much to one another.

Even after Clemson's 19-10 victory over Colorado in the Champs Sports Bowl, there wasn't a lot of sentiment shown by either.

"I've been here for seven years and he's been the starting quarterback for four of them," Bowden said. "And he's sitting up here with a college degree, which is the ultimate goal. What a great ambassador for college football."

When asked what he thought about playing in his last game at Clemson, Whitehurst kept it very short.

"I think you have to put some time between the end and think about it," he said. "I think for a team we couldn't have finished in a better way."

Nonetheless, fans will forever remember Whitehurst as the type of player who literally sacrificed his body to help Clemson win. He will no doubt one day be in the school's Hall of Fame, which is only fitting.

Not only did he win games against stacked odds, but he also helped save Bowden's job.

"It's been interesting, at least," he said. "I've had some bumps and some awesome moments. What more could you ask for? It's definitely been exciting."

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