COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Clemson defensive tackle Rashaad Jackson needs surgery to fix a torn tendon and will be out until at least midseason.
Tigers coach Tommy Bowden made the announcement Monday, two days after Jackson tore a quad tendon during a scrimmage. The school said surgery is scheduled for Tuesday.
Jackson, a senior, started 10 of 13 games last year and made 37 tackles, seven for losses. Jackson is also a vocal leader on Clemson's defensive front.
"This is a big loss for our defense because Rashaad is not only a leader on the field but off the field as well," Bowden said.
Bowden said Jamie Cumbie will take over while Jackson is sidelined. Cumbie started three games in 2007 when Jackson was dealing with a knee injury. Jock McKissic will also get more playing time.
The Tigers start the season with five games in 28 days, beginning with their opener with Alabama at the Georgia Dome on Aug. 30 and running through a Sept. 27 contest with Maryland.
Clemson, though, plays only twice in October: on Oct. 9, a Thursday night contest at Wake Forest, and on Oct. 18 at home against Georgia Tech.