Huge Saturday Football Notebook

CLEMSON – Head coach Tommy Bowden confirmed Saturday that redshirt freshman running back Demerick Chancellor has decided to transfer, which was first reported by CUTigers.com Friday. Also, former defensive back Ray Ray McElrathbey has changed positions again.

With sophomore James Davis and freshman C.J. Spiller garnering national recognition, there simply just wasn't enough rushing attempts to go around.

And Bowden said he understands why the Miami native wants to go elsewhere, though he considered not releasing Chancellor from his scholarship.

"I wish he'd stay," Bowden said. "He's a good back, but you know, (there's little) playing time at his position. I wish him the best. I'm really going to try and talk to him into staying. I wished he'd stay, but I can't blame him. I can't blame the guy."

Bowden said Chancellor mentioned to him a couple of Division I schools that he would mind going to, but Bowden wouldn't say what schools they are. He also said that he would help Chancellor any way he could.

Chris Chancellor, a cornerback for the Tigers and Demerick's brother, said he was headed to talk to his brother about the situation.

"I have no idea where he's going," Chris Chancellor said. "I heard rumors last week and asked and he didn't say anything. I'm going to go talk to him."

Chris Chancellor said regardless of what his brother does, he's staying at Clemson.

Senior tailback Reggie Merriweather said he talked to Demerick Chancellor and that he doesn't blame him for wanting to leave.

"He's seen what's been going on with the running backs and with my situation and what's happened to James that last couple of games," Merriweather said. "Demerick saw that going on and didn't want to be a part of it. I tried to give him the best advice I could with sticking with it.

"James had a little bit of that too and I tried to encourage him to stick with it for the next couple of years and that whatever happens, happens."

Spiller said he had an idea this was about to happen.

"I don't know if he just felt uncomfortable," Spiller said. "I kind of knew that when he came in here and cleared out his locker (two days ago) that he was leaving."

Davis said he wishes Chancellor the best and that he, too, wishes he'd stay. But given the same situation, he'd probably leave, too.

"He's a good running back," Davis said. "He can go anywhere else and play."

Other player moves
A host of players, most of which start, that were all on the academic tightrope said they believe they will be eligible to play in the bowl game. Linebackers Antonio Clay and Nick Watkins believe they did well enough in their exams to get the required grades, as does safety Roy Walker.

However, stay tuned as grades will officially be revealed to the coaching staff on Wednesday. …

Also, despite reports on another web site, redshirt sophomore cornerback Brandon Croley said he's not transferring. He said he made up his mind Saturday to stay at Clemson. …

Reserved redshirt freshman cornerback Ray Ray McElrathbey has been moved to running back, which appears to be his permanent home.

"He looks good," Davis said. "At one time, Ray Ray was the second leading rusher in Atlanta behind me before he broke his foot. I always thought he was a running back. He's a great athlete. You can put Ray Ray anywhere on the field and he'd be able to play." …

Senior offensive lineman Tim DeBeer has lost 25 pounds in the last 10 days or so and the cause was finally discovered. DeBeer is the victim of a bacterial infection in his stomach, which he obtained from something he ate. He said he still wants to play in the bowl since it's his last game as a Tiger. …

Spiller said he's about 85-90 percent recovered from his sprained ankle. … Wide receiver Rendrick Taylor was still held out of contact drills.

Bowden yields
After South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier received a $500,000 raise and a contract extension, Bowden joked and said, "It's amazing how this thing works, because here I'm at a place where seven (wins) gets you fired. He's at a place where seven (wins) gets you a raise. I should have won seven instead of eight."

On Friday, Spurrier finally commented on Bowden's remarks an offered some advice.

"If Tommy Bowden wants a raise, he should just ask his AD and president if he thinks he's as good a coach as (Georgia's) Mark Richt and me and (Tennessee's Phil) Fulmer and (Auburn's Tommy) Tuberville and those guys," Spurrier said. "That's the only reason I got a raise. They think I'm that good a coach. So if he wants a raise, he ought to go and say, ‘Am I as good a coach as all them guys?'"

When told of Spurrier's remarks, Bowden would have none of it. He's done with the verbal sparring.

"I gave (the media) one Christmas gift, no more," he said of the first comment. "That's out of character for me."

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