Eason To Miss Gator Bowl

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Nick Eason had seven sacks this season to lead the Clemson team and rank eighth in the ACC in that category.

Clemson, SC--Clemson starting defensive end Nick Eason suffered a torn
achilles tendon during practice Saturday morning and will miss the Toyota
Gator Bowl against Virginia Tech on January 1st. Eason suffered the
injury while making an interception during the practice that was held in
the Jervey Gym.

Clemson was practicing inside due to inclement weather. It was
the first time anyone could recall a Clemson football player suffering an
injury in that facility.

"This is a big loss for us on defense," said Clemson Head Coach
Tommy Bowden. "Nick is one of the leaders of our defense, our team leader
in sacks. Obviously he was to play an important role in our defense for an
outstanding Virginia Tech offense. Someone will have to step up."

Eason, a sophomore from Lyons, GA, had seven sacks this season to
lead the Clemson team and rank eighth in the ACC in that category. He
ranked second on the team tackles for loss with 11 and his 36 total tackles
rank 11th on the Clemson team, first among defensive linemen. He had nine
tackles against Georgia Tech and seven in the season finale against South
Carolina. He started all 11 games this year.

Khaleed Vaughan, a freshman from Atlanta, GA, is expected to move
into the starting position in Eason's place. Vaughan played all 11 games
for a total of 194 plays. He has 18 tackles, including three quarterback


Clemson team orthopedic surgeon Dr. Larry Bowman said Saturday night that
Clemson defensive end Nick Eason would have surgery to repair a torn
achilles tendon on Monday. He will be out for the Gator Bowl and spring
practice, but the prognosis for him to return for the Fall of 2001 is good.

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