With the quarterback battle getting the spotlight this off-season, the running back position is still up for grabs as well.
Wayne Gallman, ‘The Wayne Train’ will be missed after being heavily relied on for the past two seasons. Tavien Feaster, Adam Choice and C.J. Fuller are all vying to take that spot, but could end up being in a platoon at the beginning of the season.
Each player had their turn to show the fans and coaches a little bit of what they can bring to the table this year. Fuller ran the ball 13 times for 51 yards as well as catching a pass for nine yards. Choice rushed the ball nine times for 34 yards and a touchdown, and Feaster carried that ball five times for 21 yards while tacking on a 10-yard catch.
The Spring Game is not a good time to analyze stats seeing as the playing time and the roster are switched up and chemistry can be an issue, but all three backs showed flashes of why any of them could be the No. 1 guy next year.
Co-offensive Coordinator and running backs coach Tony Elliott said he was happy with the way the game turned out and thinks they are going in a positive direction going into summer.
“I thought it was very competitive,” said Elliott. “It was good to see some guys make plays…I thought the backs at times ran hard…I’m walking away in a good mood.”
There really is not a true stand out to be the starter at the beginning of the season, but C.J Fuller sure has some of the most experience, especially after making some big plays in the College Football Playoff last year.
Fuller said even thought he felt good about his performance in the Spring Game, but he expects a tight race for the starting spot.
“I feel like I did pretty good and I feel like the other backs, Feaster and Choice, also made big steps,” he said.
While running is what gets you the highlights and stats, blocking is where a running back can really impress the coaches and is a vital part to any successful offense. Fuller said it is a must have in the Clemson offensive scheme.
“Pass protection is big and very important in this offense,” he said. “Just being able to recognize who’s coming, sorting it out and picking it up, it means a lot. So me being there and picking those up really benefits the offense.”
The competition will most likely continue into the season unless one player shows something undeniably good, but Fuller said there are no off days in this competition.
“This is a very good competition. All three of us are working to be that guy,” he said. “So you can’t slack off; every day you can’t slack off. You’ve gotta come out, finish your runs and block. You’ve gotta do everything the coaches ask so hopefully you can be that guy.”
For now, all Fuller and Co. can do is learn and work hard to improve, especially with the load of talent they have.
“Just train, continue to learn the playbook, learn the offense inside and out and do whatever it takes to get back to the National Championship.”
—Photo Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports