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Scouting the Clemson roster: C.J. Fuller

The Clemson Insider gives a scouting report on every player on Clemson’s expected two deep depth chart. We will break down what the player does best, what he needs to work on, how he compares to other former players at his position and where we see him fit on the Clemson roster.

Player name:  C.J. Fuller

Player position:  Running back

Years left of eligibility:  2 years

Projected rank on depth chart:  First

Player productivity so far:  He has rushed for 382 yards, the most by any active player. He has one touchdown. He also has 11 career catches for 106 yards and two touchdowns.

What player does best: Fuller runs great between the tackles and had good vision. He is a power back, but he also has good speed when he hits the hole. When he sees the hole he hits another gear that gets him quickly to the next level where is power allows him to get extra yards after contact. He also has good hands out of the backfield and is perhaps the best running back when it comes to pass protection.

What player needs to work on: Fuller does everything well, not great. Of course he can improve on his pass protection and route running but that’s not to say it is an issue. He understands the offense as well as any of the running back, but he can always get better there as well.

Productivity of former Clemson players at the position (first year and last):  
Wayne Gallman 2014: Rushed for 769 yards on 161 carries, while averaging 4.8 yards per carry and scoring four touchdowns. He averaged 59.2 yards per game. He also caught 24 passes for 108 yard and had one touchdown.

Wayne Gallman 2016: Rushed for 1,133 yards on 232 carries, while averaging 4.9 yards per carry and scoring 17 touchdowns. He averaged 75.5 yards per game. He also caught 20 passes for 152 yards and had no touchdowns.

Andre Ellington 2010: Rushed for 686 yards on 118 carries, while averaging 5.8 yards per carry and scoring 10 touchdowns. He averaged 76.2 yards per game. He also caught 12 passes for 109 yards and one touchdown.

Andre Ellington 2012: Rushed for 1,081 yards on 212 carries, while averaging 5.1 yards per carry and scoring 8 touchdowns. He averaged 83.2 yards per game. He also caught 14 passes for 232 yards and scored one touchdown.

What can you hope for? You hope Fuller comes in and becomes Wayne Gallman. There are a lot of similarities between Gallman and Fuller. Like Gallman, Fuller carries a chip on his shoulder and he plays with an attitude. He showed that every time he got on the field the last two seasons as he ran with an attitude and with a purpose. 

What is a realistic expectation? A realistic expectation is that he can run for 1,000 yards and score anywhere from 10 to 15 touchdowns. Those are good numbers that will mean Clemson is running the football with enough effectiveness to set up its play-action passing game.

What about the future?  Fuller will get challenged by Tavien Feaster and freshman running back Travis Etienne, but he has the work ethic and the right attitude to handle the competition and keep moving forward. Look for Fuller to stay in Clemson’s plans at the running back position the next two years.

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