March 8, 2008
Clemson, SC — Clemson running back Ray Ray McElrathbey plans to graduate from Clemson University in August and will not be a member of the Tiger football team in 2008. Tommy Bowden made the announcement on Saturday.
“I met with Ray Ray and he is going to graduate in August and pursue other opportunities,” said Bowden. “Graduating in three years with all of his responsibilities will be an outstanding accomplishment. Our staff will help him in his future endeavors whether it be from a football career or business career standpoint.”
McElrathbey said he will address his future with the media when he has made a specific decision. He would have two years of eligibility remaining and could play without sitting out a year if he transfers to another FCS (previously Division I-AA) school. He could play two years for a FBS (Division I) school if he is granted a waiver by the NCAA.
He also could remain at Clemson and pursue a masters degree. If he returns to Clemson for graduate school he will have a graduate assistantship that will pay his tuition and other expenses.
As a red-shirt freshman, McElrathbey played in all 13 games as one of the leaders of Clemson’s special teams in 2006 and had six tackles. He was named Clemson’s Special Teams Player of the Week in the season opener against Florida Atlantic. He moved to running back in the spring of 2007, but suffered a season ending torn ACL in preseason practice in August and missed the entire 2007 season.
The native of Atlanta, GA received national attention in 2006 when he took custody of his then 11-year-old brother Fahmarr and raised him while facing the challenges of his academic workload and playing college football. Last fall he made the academic honor roll in his sociology major while taking 21 hours.
In 2006 he was the recipient of the Keith Jackson Award of Excellence on the ESPN College Football All-American Show. He also won the 2006 FedEx/Football Writers Association Courage Award, an honor he received at the 2007 FedEx Orange Bowl.
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