Clemson LB Brandon Maye out for opener

September, 1, 2010
9/01/10
6:45
AM ET
Clemson starting linebacker Brandon Maye will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery today and will miss the North Texas game on Saturday. Coach Dabo Swinney told reporters after Tuesday night's practice that the injury is not serious and the staff is optimistic Maye could see some playing time against Presbyterian on Sept. 11.

Maye has started 25 of the past 26 Clemson games at linebacker and has 190 career tackles, including 103 last year (third on the team). He has 12 career tackles for loss and five sacks to go with 24 quarterback pressures. In 2009, he set a Clemson single-season record with five caused fumbles.

“Brandon just finished the best camp of his career,” Swinney said, according to the team's practice report. “He had some swelling on Monday and Tuesday, and after an MRI it was determined he needed arthroscopic surgery. ... He had practiced on Monday the entire practice, but he had more swelling. We talked about this with Brandon and the doctors just before practice [Tuesday] and that is when the decision was made.”

Jonathan "Tig" Willard will start at weakside linebacker against North Texas. This isn't anything to panic over, as Willard was pushing Maye for the starting job anyway. He redshirted in 2008 and was one of the Tigers' top special-teams contributors last year. He made 10 tackles in 32 plays last year, including two in the ACC championship game. He's the nephew of former Clemson defensive tackle Richard McCullough.

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