Injured Harris may have a decision to make
CLEMSON, S.C. - Boston College was without its best running back, Montel Harris, for yesterday’s conference clash against Clemson. Harris already has had two surgical procedures on his left knee this year.
The Eagles, however, came out of the 36-14 loss with the glimmer of hope about the depth of their running game. If there was a bright spot in the Eagles’ fifth loss in six games this season it was the performance of Rolandan Finch and Tahj Kimble, who were the main backs with Harris and his backup, Andre Williams (ankle), sidelined.
Finch picked up 81 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries, while Kimble added 57 yards on 11 rushes.
Coach Frank Spaziani said Harris’s condition and future at BC are questionable for a variety of reasons.
“[The doctors] found some swelling, with limited range of motion,’’ said Spaziani.
Spaziani said Harris, a 5-foot-10-inch, 207-pound senior would meet the requirements for a medical redshirt season.
“A player can’t play the second half of the year,’’ said Spaziani. “That’s one of the benchmarks. A limited amount of participation in the first half. Whatever it is, he fits in the guidelines.’’
At first glance, it would seem to be an easy choice for Harris to shut it down for the season, get healthy, and resume his quest for an NFL career next season.
“On the surface, it looks like that,’’ said Spaziani. “Montel has to decide by the seventh game. And we have to decide what Montel wants to do. We haven’t talked to him about it in a serious vein yet. We have laid out all the possibilities and scenarios. We’ll sit down with the medical people, Montel, and his family. He may want after discussing everything with everybody say, I want to move on.’’
“We don’t have to make this decision now, but has it been explored. Absolutely.’’
Harris could also choose to take advantage of an NCAA rule that allows seniors who have graduated at one school, but have a year of eligibility left, to transfer to another school. Former N.C. State quarterback Russell Wilson transferred after last season, and is putting up Heisman-quality numbers this year at Wisconsin.
Hope remains BC, which fell to 1-5, started 2-5 a year ago then ripped off a five-game winning streak to become bowl-eligible . . . BC middle linebacker Luke Kuechly had 16 tackles, extending his streak of games with double digits to an FBS-leading 28. Clemson improved to 6-0 for the first time in 11 years.