Derrick Brantley Likely Lost for Season


by - Correspondent -
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<font class=caption>Derrick Brantley has no eligibility remaining beyond this season.</a>
Derrick Brantley has no eligibility remaining beyond this season.

CLEMSON - For the second time in two weeks it appears Clemson has lost a
starter for the season.


Offensive tackle Derrick Brantley suffered torn ACL and MCL ligaments in his
knee, MRI results showed Sunday. The injury occurred in the second half of
Saturday's 33-13 victory over Louisiana Tech at Death Valley.


"He's a guy who's waited a long time (to play)," Clemson head coach Tommy
Bowden said Sunday. "He'll be missed. We felt like he had a chance to be
drafted, based on this year's performance. If he continued to improve week to
week he surely had the potential."


There remains the slightest hope that Brantley could return in a few weeks.


Sports Information Director Tim Bourret said the injury gives the team with
"some options with offensive linemen, and noted that former Tigers'
quarterback Mike Epply played almost a full season with at torn ACL in the
1980s. Only after the season ended did Epply have surgery.


Whether or not the same course can be taken with Brantley is unknown at this
time. But the 6-foot-4, 300-pound senior has no eligibility remaining beyond
this season. Brantley redshirted the 2000 campaign after transferring to
Clemson from junior college.


"He's definitely out (for a while). We're hoping we can get him back in a
couple of weeks," Bowden said. "It will take a lot of hard work, and I know
Derrick will do the hard work (if it's possible)."


Redshirt junior William Henry, who replaced Brantley Saturday and played
reasonably well, now becomes the starter at right tackle. He will be backed
up by redshirt freshman Chip Myrick.


"Henry played well (Saturday), but he hasn't played a whole lot," Bowden
said. "The experience is what you worry about."


In other injury news, senior running back Bernard Rambert, who sat out
Saturday's game with a strained tendon in his foot, will begin the week
listed as questionable for this week's game against visiting Georgia Tech.


Bowden said he is "beginning to worry" that Rambert's ailment could become a
3-5 week type of injury.


Meanwhile, there was no new information on fullback Chad Jasmin, who left the
game at halftime with a groin injury. He was to be further evaluated Sunday.


Dan Scott covers Clemson University for the Florence Morning News. He also hosts SportsTalk from 10 a.m.-Noon, Monday-Friday, on WCCP-Fm, 104.9. Click here for Dan Scott's SportsTalk discussion board.

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