Waiting for his chance

CLEMSON - Two years ago, high school teammates Jamie Harper and Montel Harris were tearing up defenses on Friday nights and talking trash to one another about what the future had in store.

At Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville, Fla. Harris was rated by Scout.com as a two-star running back and was No. 136 in the nation. Meanwhile Harper was five stars and ranked No. 5.

Harris committed to Duke before switching to Boston College and Harper chose Clemson. Since around their junior year, Harper said, the two have had friendly battles of words about their respective schools.

"I look forward to this game, mainly because of him," Harper said.

They speak about once a week to share what happened on the field, see who is planning the next trip home, to talk high school football and to catch up on everything else. Sometime on Thursday or Friday they'll talk one more time before Saturday.

"We'll just talk trash with one another, just having fun," Harper said.

The first 15 minutes in Thursday night's game against Georgia Tech weren't the most fun for Harper and the Tigers, finding themselves in a 24-0 hole. Rallying from behind before losing 30-27, there was a rollercoaster of emotions pass through the Clemson sideline.

Although Harper didn't have many chances to contribute and finished with just 12 yards rushing on four carries, he's not getting hung up on the numbers. Even though he saw his numbers from the Middle Tennessee game dropped (15 carries 75 yards), playing behind James Davis and C.J. Spiller has kept Harper patient and waiting for his chance.

Knowing that his number could be called at any given time, Harper tries to prepare himself for several different situations.

"You always have the mindset whenever you get the ball you just want to be a playmaker," he said. "If it's 20 times or two times, you just want to go out there and do the best with every opportunity that you've been given."

Without trying to seem pushy, Harper has reminded coaches on occasion that he's ready to go when needed. He's confident enough in his preparation.

CUTigers.com Top Stories