Vincent in Limbo

ATLANTA – The Clemson defense finished as one best in the country this season and in the center of it all was Cortney Vincent.

As the starting middle linebacker, he was instrumental in guiding and directing his other 10 teammates into position on the field. Now, however, he sits helplessly waiting for someone else to decide his fate.

The redshirt junior was charged with DUI a couple of weeks ago and it's unclear whether or not Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden will allow him to play against No. 22 Auburn in the Chick-fil-A Bowl on New Year's Eve.

Bowden said Wednesday following the team's first practice in Atlanta that there is no new word on Vincent's status and that, "I don't think we've got to do (make a decision) today."

And that leaves Vincent in limbo. He's practicing everyday and running with the first team on defense. But it all could be for naught.

Until that final word comes down, Vincent is just trying to the best he can to make the most of his bowl trip.

"I'm just happy to be in a bowl game," said Vincent, who spoke to the media for the first time since his arrest back in Clemson. "I'm here preparing for the bowl game with the defense. As far as anything else, I'm just here preparing for that game on Monday.

"No one knows (if I will play). We will find out Monday. I'm hear with my guys, having some fun and enjoy being in a bowl. That's all I'm doing right now. Everything will be up to the coach and whatever happens, happens. Right now, I'm just preparing for Monday and playing Auburn."

Most media members are betting that he will play, but maybe not as the starter.

But Vincent said he has no clue and that he's not worried. He also said he hasn't spoken to Bowden about his fate.

"No one is bugging me about it," he said. "Right now, I'm here and it's the coach's decision. Whatever happens it is up to him. I'm here practicing and working so we will see on Monday what happens. …

"We haven't talked about that. We have just mostly watched film and we will talk about that Monday."

Obviously Vincent wants to play. Who wouldn't?

But even if he doesn't, just walking into the Georgia Dome on the field level for the first time is something that he'll always remember.

"When I walked through that tunnel, I was just smiling and looking around," he said. "This is a dream right here to play in a stadium like this. I hope I get the opportunity to play on Monday and play against a team like Auburn. … I'm pretty excited. This the first time I have ever been in a stadium like this. This one is pretty nice.

"This should be a pretty fun game. It should be loud because it is closed in. It is going to be crazy in here so I'm pretty excited to see what is going to happen on Monday." Top Stories