CLEMSON - In the final press conference of his Clemson career, Charlie Whitehurst's sense of anticipation was easy to spot.
Whitehurst, who holds virtually every important quarterback record in Clemson history, is just days away from finding out his professional fate. The NFL Draft is Saturday, and Whitehurst is rested and ready for the next chapter of his football life.
“I’m glad that it’s almost over … not that it hasn’t been a lot of fun," he said Wednesday. "It has been as relaxing, as funny as it sounds, the last four months in my life. I’m just anxious and curious to see where it’s going to be now.”
Where his future lies is a matter of speculation.
All last weekend, whenever Whitehurst's name came up on national sports talk radio when the draft was discussed, the so-called "experts" had mixed feelings about him. The biggest knock on Whitehurst among the experts - including ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. - is that Whitehurst was too inconsistent on the college level.
They also questioned his decision-making, and the general belief seemed to be that an unheralded quarterback such as Bowling Green's Omar Jacobs would be a better pick.
Whitehurst scoffed at the notion Wednesday.
“I’m not sure he knows what he’s talking about," Whitehurst said of Kiper. "Honestly, people in the know tell me that he doesn’t know. I don’t know if he likes me or not. I hadn’t paid a lot of attention to it.”
For the record, Kiper has Whitehurst projected as the 80th overall pick in the draft, going to Dallas in the third round. Which would be fine for Whitehurst. All he wants is a chance to prove that he can perform at the next level.
The only major concern at the moment is the strength of his throwing shoulder. Operated on toward the end of last season, Whitehurst's shoulder still isn't all the way back.
But it's coming.
“I tell them it’s getting close to 100 percent, which is the truth,” he said. “It’s taken longer (to recover) than I wanted it to. I thought in two months that I’d be back to where it was.”
That being the case, all Whitehurst can do now is wait until Saturday and see when his name is called.
“I know I can play and there’s people out there that know I can play," he said.