O&W Game Notebook

CLEMSON – It was just another ho-hum performance for quarterback Cullen Harper in this year's spring game. There were some very nice throws and almost no mistakes. And that's the way he's performed nearly every single day of the spring.

The one word that continues to come from all of the coaches and players is that Harper is "consistent." He never does anything too flashy or has such a poor performance that leaves the coaches scratching their heads.

Saturday, he was 15-of-24 for 147 yards, three touchdowns, and most importantly, no interceptions.

With Clemson's somewhat new style of offense this year, he could be the missing link to making a run for the division and conference title.

"I think it's important at the quarterback position that you've got to be consistent," the rising redshirt junior said. "I don't think you can get too high and I don't think you can get too down, because things are never as good as they seem and never as bad as you think."

Harper leaves spring as the team's top quarterback and all indications are he will remain so when the team breaks fall camp and heads into the season.

"He'd really have to have a poor off-season and a poor August (not to be the starter), which would be really out of character for him," head coach Tommy Bowden said. "But we're still looking to get this thing separated down to one or two and come up with a pecking order.

"I think Monday or so when we look at the tape when I sit down with Rob, we can a more significant statement about the pecking order and how much separation there is between the four."

BUCHHOLZ GETS SCHOLARSHIP: Soccer player Mark Buchholz will be given a full football scholarship, Bowden said after the spring game Saturday.

Bowden really doesn't have much of a choice since he leaves the spring leading the way with the placekicking and kickoff duties over Richard Jackson.

"I'm excited," said Buchholz, who has two years of football eligibility left and one year of soccer left. "I feel like I can do it. Out of high school, I got offers. Part of the reason I came here is that they were going to let me do both. Now, I'm excited because it's finally panned out where I'll be able to do both and show the football side of society what I can do."

Bowden said Buchholz has a strong leg and that the ball jumps from his foot.

This past Thursday in a scrimmage in Memorial Stadium, Buchholz made a 52-yarder against the wind with a strained MCL in his right knee. In high school, he booted a 58-yarder off the right upright.

"I feel like I can go back to 60 when my leg is feeling good," he said.

FRESHMEN IMPRESS: Bowden said that he couldn't have been much happier with the performances of the five true freshmen that enrolled in school in January.

But one true freshman and one redshirt freshman have made the biggest impacts. And both of them are in the secondary on defense.

True freshman DeAndre McDaniel is playing so well that he could literally be starting in the season opener at a safety position. At the same time, rising redshirt freshman Byron Maxwell is doing the same thing at the cornerback position.

But it is McDaniel that has grabbed the most attention.

"It looks like right now that DeAndre McDaniel will be able to compete for a starting job at the safety position," Bowden said. "That's one thing that we really didn't know coming into spring. But it looks like now that he's got enough talent and enough aggressiveness and enough feel back there at safety to come in and help us pretty early."

The one thing that defensive coordinator Vic Koenning likes about McDaniel so much is his ability to learn quickly and retain what is being said to him by the coaches.

"He's the type of guy that has shown the propensity that he can make a mistake and come back not make it again," Koenning said. "He's a very talented player. He's going to push those guys for everything they've got. He's going to make them better."

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