Harper Discusses Injury

CLEMSON - To the surprise of many, fifth-year quarterback Cullen Harper revealed today he suffered a shoulder injury against Alabama.

The injury was classified as a first-degree separation of the AC joint (Acromioclavicular joint) in his throwing shoulder.

While he was not 100 percent last weekend for the game against The Citadel, he's hoping to be this weekend against N.C. State.

CUTigers.com sat down with the Tigers' senior caller in this 1-on-1 interview earlier Tuesday:

Cullen first off talk about your injury and where you feel like you are at before the game this weekend against N.C. State.
Harper: I had a first-degree sprain in my AC joint in my throwing shoulder. I landed on it funny in the Alabama game. It was a little sore last week and I was getting treatments for it four times a day. It was a little sore, a little tired. I'm ready to go this week and trying to put it behind me. You are always going to have to play with some pain and some discomfort.

In terms of a percentage- where are you at right now?
Harper: I think I'll be a 100 percent by game time. I've kind of backed off the rehab this week so my shoulder will feel more fresh. I've been getting good treatments.

The offense looked much better last weekend compared to the Alabama game, as expected. You completed 14-of-18 passes and did well but we heard Tommy Bowden mention you need to improve. Your thoughts on that?
Harper: You can always play better I guess. If I went 29-of-30 you could say I could play better. That's what you try to do. You don't get caught up in what people say about me. I'm looking forward to getting back on track and getting this team to a different level this season.

What style of defense does N.C. State play on film?
Harper: They play a lot of cover 42. A lot of man coverage. Up front they are better than they were last year. It's going to be a great game and a good matchup. They present more problems for us than what they did a year ago and they are much better on defense.

As many as three freshmen could play on the offensive line Saturday. What does that mean to do you and what do you tell those guys in the locker room?
Harper: I just want to continue to encourage them and tell them I have confidence in them because I do. If Landon Walker is going to play for us, he knows I have confidence in him. Mason played well last week for us too. If they just continue to progress, they are going to be great linemen for us. We just need to continue to come together and play as one unit.

You guys really played well last year in Raleigh against this team. What do you remember about that game?
Harper: Well we got off to a good start and we established the running game. We threw the ball too. We need to come out and try to dominate the line of scrimmage- that's where it starts.

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