James Davis Leaving for NFL

CLEMSON - Junior running back James Davis has made his decision regarding his future at Clemson.

After meeting with Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden Wednesday, junior running back James Davis officially announced he will forego his senior season and enter the NFL Draft.

"This was a tough decision," said Davis. "I want to thank Coach Tommy Bowden and all the coaches for the opportunity to compete at the highest level of college football.

"Everyone at Clemson has been very supportive in my development, whether it be as a player or academically. I will return some day to earn my degree. That is very important to me and my family."

A native of Atlanta, Davis was told by the NFL underclassmen advisory committee he could be selected in the third round of 2008 draft in April.

As a junior, Davis, a first-team All-ACC performer, rushed for 1,064 yards on 214 carries and scored 10 touchdowns.

He also caught 12 passes for 51 yards and two more scores.

Davis finishes his career with 12 career 100-yard rushing games, also second in school history. He ranked fourth in the ACC in rushing as a freshman, third as a sophomore and second as a junior. He had a career high 1187 rushing yards in 2006 and 879 as a freshman when he was the Most Valuable Player of Clemson's Champs Sports Bowl win over Colorado.

"James had an outstanding career at Clemson and made a great contribution to our program on the field and in terms of team leadership," said Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden. "In our meeting today I recommended that he return for his senior year because I thought it would benefit his career. I am disappointed that he will not return for 2008, but I will do everything I can to help him as he prepares for his future. I think he will have an excellent professional career."

Davis, along with five other Clemson players, have all been considering the jump to professional ranks since the season ended on Dec. 31 against Auburn in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl.

Junior QB Cullen Harper, S Mike Hamlin, DT Dorell Scott, WR Aaron Kelly have all announced they are returning to school for their season seasons.

With Davis out of the mix at running back, C.J. Spiller will likely have his opportunity as the featured back in Rob Spence's offense in 2008. Spiller was second on the team in rushing, behind Davis, in 2007 with 768 yards on 145 carries.

He also scored three touchdowns on the ground.

Clemson is also expecting to sign the No. 1 running back South Carolina, Andre Ellington out of Berkeley High School.

In addition, the Tigers appear to be in good shape with one of the top ranked running backs in the country in Jacksonville, Fla. native Jamie Harper. Harper is a five-star back and currently the No. 5 running back prospect in the nation according to Scout.com.

Last year's reserves, Sadat Chambers and Ray Ray McElrathbey, will also compete for playing time next season.

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