As Clemson gets set to start fall camp next Thursday, co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott will be watching to see if any of his three running backs—C.J. Fuller, Adam Choice and Tavien Feaster—separates from the pack and becomes the Tigers’ feature back.
The last two and a half seasons have been easy for the Clemson’s running backs coach. He had Wayne Gallman, one of the best to have ever played for the Tigers. He was just the fourth running back in school history to produce back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, including a single-season best 1,527 yards in 2015.
Though Fuller, Choice and Feaster each had flashes at times in the spring, no one in the race to see who will replace Gallman has separated from the pack, which leaves Elliott with a group that might have to get it done this year by committee as opposed to just one player.
“You could do it by committee and it is really going to be up to those guys if one of them wants to separate themselves,” the Clemson coach said. “From a coaching perspective you love to have three guys that can play in any and every situation.”
However, Clemson’s style of offense makes it tough to use the running back position as a committee. They Tigers play so fast as times it is hard to substitute a player based off the situation because the situation changes so fast.
“So guys have to be ready to play and function in every situation and that is where the transformation has to take place,” Elliott said. “They have to go from being a one dimensional high school guy to you have to be able to function in every dimension of the game from pass protection, to short yardage, to first-down back, second-down back, pass catcher out of the backfield.”
The good news for Clemson, according to Elliott, is all three guys are ready to function in every situation.
“Now if one of them one wants to establish himself as the alpha and separate himself from everybody else then he is going to have to do it in practice and on the field,” he said. “From a confident standpoint as a coach, you feel good having three guys.”
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