Proctor Ready for Challenge

CLEMSON – Will Proctor knew the day would eventually come when the bloom would fall from the rose and his play would be looked at closely under a microscope and critiqued.

After all, he witnessed it firsthand as a true freshman when Willie Simmons was replaced at quarterback by redshirt freshman Charlie Whitehurst. There was even last year when there was a strong belief by fans and some media that Proctor, himself, should play over an injured Whitehurst.

Now, he's the starter being questioned.

"It comes with the territory," Proctor said Tuesday. "When things are going good, obviously you get praise. And when things are going bad, which the circumstances are, you will get the other end of it. It's one thing that I learned from when I was waiting behind Charlie. He went through similar things."

Proctor said he's not bitter about it and that he fully understands why there have been some recent grumblings concerning his past performances.

"I got to see it with Willie and Charlie," he said. "I got to see it with Charlie and I, when people were saying Charlie wasn't doing a good job. … I've learned from it and turned my computer off. That's the main thing. I just completely ignore it all. If you can't ignore it, then you're not going to be able to get through it."

Proctor said one of the most important things in playing such a public position is knowing things are never as good or as bad as they seem.

"I wasn't getting too excited when we were winning all those games, just trying to stay the course," he said. "And obviously I'm not trying to get too down on myself right now. Obviously I didn't do what I should have done last week. So obviously criticism is welcomed because I feel like I kind of deserve a little bit of it."

Putting Proctor under even more scrutiny is the fact that Clemson is a ranked team and has garnered a lot of attention nationally.

"We're in the hunt for an ACC Championship, and there's criticism," he said. "I welcome it. That's fine with me. I understand that's part of it that when you lose, the media is going to point the finger at somebody. Obviously it was pretty easy to point at me."

All that being said, Proctor said he is anxious to get back on the field and lead Clemson to its eighth victory of the season with a strong outing against Maryland. However, should he struggle again, he knows head coach Tommy Bowden could make a change at quarterback.

"He hasn't (said anything to me), but I understand it's going to be like any other position," Proctor said. "If he feels that my play is not up to par, then he'll probably make a change if need be. But I feel we're going to go out and have a great performance this week. …

"I feel just as good as any other week. Obviously, it's coming off a pretty poor performance. The good thing is we've got another opportunity this Saturday." Top Stories