Another hot August day in Clemson, S.C., and as Clemson’s football team practiced in the midst of it all on the 13th day of fall camp. Practicing on a wide open field like Jervey Meadows is somewhat tough because of the lack of shade, but the team didn’t seem to wilt on Thursday.
Following practice, the media spoke to co-offensive coordinators Tony Elliott and Jeff Scott regarding the running back depth chart and the quarterback situation.
Here is what we heard:
Clemson co-offensive coordinator and running backs coach Tony Elliott is impressed with his group of backs so far, and has a solid depth chart up to this point in fall camp.
C.J. Fuller still has the number one spot, but he is closely followed by Tavien Feaster, who moved up in the depth chart following Adam Choice’s groin injury. Following Feaster comes Adam Choice and then Travis Etienne, who Elliott says is Clemson’s best runner right now.
“I will tell you what, he is fast, he is quick and he has a great feel. He is a natural runner,” Elliott said after Thursday’s practice. “As a runner, he is probably looked the best in camp so far with breaking tackles and breaking plays. He is definitely the quickest and he does not know anything so he just playing ball out there.”
One of the big questions now is will we see Etienne on the field this season? It looks like there’s a good chance.
“Well we like to carry five backs on every trip and right now by default he is the number four guy because he’s the fourth scholarship guy and he’s competing,” Elliott said. “If you go with just off of production, in camp he has been the most productive in terms of making plays in the run-game.
“Now is he the most dependable? By far he is not the most dependable because there is just so much he has to learn. The background that he’s coming from, option, identifying defense, all that stuff is new to him. But he’s a quick learner, he’s working his tail off, he’s a pleasure to coach and he’s a practice player. So I’m hoping he’ll be ready once we need him.”
Clemson co-offensive coordinator and wide receiver’s coach Jeff Scott spoke on the quarterback situation. As we’ve heard for many weeks, Kelly Bryant will most likely be the guy to start versus Kent State. The junior is holding down his gig by best complimenting Clemson’s offense.
“I would say right now, overall execution,” Scott said after practice on Thursday. “We have a lot of different things going on, movements, shifts, different personnel groups, different formations, and he’s not overwhelmed with what we’re doing. So I’d just say the overall flow, execution, pace of the offense has been really good under him at quarterback.”
But the two guys behind Bryant, Zerrick Cooper and Hunter Johnson, are right on his heels.
Zerrick Cooper is making more strides in his decision making, which could impact his position in the depth chart come the end of fall camp.
“I would say Zerrick has done a better job of making good decisions,” Scott said. “I think Zerrick has an unbelievable arm. The biggest thing for him this spring was understanding when to try to fit that ball in there and when not to. I feel like Zerrick has made some good decisions here in fall camp.”
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