Etta-Tawo Undergoes Heart Tests

The young playing career of Clemson defensive tackle Etta Etta-Tawo may be in jeopardy due to a possible serious condition with his heart, CUTigers.com has learned.

DT Etta Etta-Tawo Profile

Etta-Tawo, a redshirt freshman, has undergone a series of heart tests at a hospital in Greenville the last couple of days to determine what is causing a pain in his chest.

As of Thursday afternoon, doctors, Etta-Tawo and his family were still waiting for the test results.

"They haven't made any decisions," Etta-Tawo told CUTigers.com. "They don't know anything yet. They have no idea what the problem is and I don't either."

Etta-Tawo, one of the top defensive players to come out of Georgia in 2005, first started having chest pains during practice Monday, which is something he's never had occur before.

He said he told a team trainer about his chest pains and the trainer made him sit out the rest of practice. After Monday's practice, the Clemson medical ran some tests on him and it was determined he needed much more attention and that he needed to be sent to Greenville.

Luckily, if there is a problem with his heart, it was caught in time and situations like those with former Boston Celtic All-Star Reggie Lewis or former Loyola Marymount star Hank Gathers. Both collapsed during a game and died shortly thereafter.

"When you start talking about your heart or brain, that's life and death issues," Clemson defensive coordinator Vic Koenning said. "It's not like it's a torn ligament.

"The kid was coming on and playing better and better. You hate that for the kid. But this is way more of an issue than playing time."

Antwon Murchison will likely be the fifth player and play both inside positions. Taking Etta-Tawo's spot on the travel roster this weekend is expected to be Elsmore Gabriel.

But for the time being, that information is secondary as Etta-Tawo and his teammates wait and hope for the best.

"Right now, everybody is just praying for me and hoping that everything works out," he said. "I just pray that I can get back on the field."

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