After much deliberation, Sam linebacker Tramaine Billie, who suffered a broken ankle in August, has decided to redshirt this season and return as a redshirt senior next year.
"I felt like it was the best choice to make," Billie said Monday night. "Education wise, I'll get my degree and make more money, hopefully. … I have a whole season to make plays and show the NFL what I need to show them. I think that's the best bet for me."
To help Billie make up his mind about his future, Bowden had some NFL scouts discuss with the linebacker where they thought he would be drafted, if at all, should he op not to return for another season.
They helped convince Billie that returning to Clemson and gaining 10-15 pounds would be in his best interest if he wanted to make it in the NFL as a linebacker.
On Friday, Billie started coming around to that way of thinking and after discussing it with his family, he realized staying one more year was in his best interest.
But it wasn't an easy choice.
"It wasn't really based on how my leg was," he said. "It was just based off of me not being out there and me wanting to play more than anything instead of thinking about what's best for me education wise and NFL wise.
"I've always been on the field and I've always played football. I just wanted to be out there more than anything and be a part of the team."
Senior running back Reggie Merriweather is still unsure if his sprained ankle will be healthy enough for him to play Saturday night against Georgia Tech.
"I'm probably about 80 percent," he said. "My ankle is still bothering me a little bit. But hopefully I'll be able to go."
Merriweather said he's not going to risk coming back too soon and doing further damage.
"I have been feeling better, but I don't feel comfortable," he said. "I'd rather be 100 percent and go out there and play to the best of my ability."
Senior wide receiver Chansi Stuckey is officially listed as doubtful for this weekend's game, but it wouldn't be a total surprise if actually saw some playing time.
He is healing much faster than anyone ever thought possible and his sprinting at full speed in practice is proof. However, the foot is still sore and that may prevent him from playing against the Yellow Jackets.
But there is very little doubt that even if he doesn't play Saturday that he will definitely play at Virginia Tech next Thursday.
It doesn't appear that Miami will undergo the same penalty that Clemson after the Tigers were involved with South Carolina in one of the ugliest brawls in memory.
Should the Hurricanes become bowl eligible, early indications are they will still be allowed to go to a bowl despite getting into a similar type fight with Florida International.
And at least one Clemson player thinks that's the right way to go about it.
"I don't think (Miami should be held out of a bowl)," senior cornerback Duane Coleman said. "We learned our lesson and I think just suspending those players for the next game should be enough. The whole team wasn't involved in the fight – it was a lot of guys, but not the whole team, so I don't think the whole team should be penalized.
"Just being on the receiving end of that and not going to a bowl just for a few guys' mistakes, I don't think that's fair. If anything, just don't let those guys that were in the fight go to the bowl."
Linebacker Nick Watkins had a lot of bad memories come rushing back after watching the highlights of the Miami fight.
"It was crazy," he said. "To see another team doing it besides us, it kind of makes you look back be like, ‘Man, we were crazy and silly for doing something like that.' But that was crazy."
Just like it was with Clemson, it appears the ACC will allow Miami to determine its own punishment. As of Monday, 13 Hurricanes have been suspended for one game, with one of those being suspended indefinitely.
More kickoff changes
Last week, Coleman said because of the new scheme, that if somebody messes up on the kickoff coverage that it would be much easier to determine who the guilty parties are.
At least one person on the kickoff team was deemed to be responsible for the poor coverage against Temple.
"It was a younger guy and I just don't want to call him out and have him lose any confidence," Coleman said. "But it's safe to say he's not on it anymore. We had a few more personnel changes. But we've got to show up big this week. They're a good offensive team and we can't give them a short field."
Billie to Redshirt
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