The 2017 season is underway and the Clemson Tigers have begun the journey they hope takes them back to the College Football Playoff.
In this edition of our Up Downs feature we take a look at which players made a move in the first week of 2017, and are elevating their game and their position on the depth chart. We also take a look at which players have slipped a little and have some climbing to do.
Trayvon Mullen: In a crowded depth chart at corner with plenty of talent and experience Mullen got the start for Clemson on Saturday against Kent State. He played well, though Kent State threw five passes, so we didn’t get a good look at the coverage skills this week. Mullen had a great camp and has all the tools to be a great corner for the Tigers.
Travis Etienne: The fans got to see what the coaches saw in August. Etienne was the fourth back in the game, but led all running backs with eight rushes for 81 yards. Etienne will need to improve his pass blocking to gain more playing time as the season moves along, but the staff hit it big time by landing Etienne late in the recruiting class.
Milan Richard: One of the big questions heading into the season was could anyone replace the productivity from Jordan Leggett on offense. Richard is off to a great start as his 70 yards in two receptions matched Deon Cain for the team high on Saturday. He had just two catches but showed his ability to run after the catch, while rumbling down the sidelines on both catches.
Tavien Feaster: He was the third back into the game Saturday, but played well when given a chance. Feaster showed his speed on the long 47-yard touchdown run and was second among the running backs with six carries for 69 yards. As Feaster gains confidence and shows he can do the job of pass blocking as well, he will continue to see more playing time.
Tanner Muse: He tied for the team lead with six tackles Saturday. Muse was all over the field and brought some pain with his tackles. We didn’t get to see Muse in coverage much due to the fact that Kent State decided to run the ball on almost every down. The ceiling is very high for Muse with his combination of speed and bringing the pain on tackles.
Adam Choice: He was the second running back into the game Saturday which showed how much the coaches were impressed with his play in August. Choice had a touchdown, and four carries for 20 yards. With Feaster and Etienne playing well he will need to elevate his game even more to hold off the young backs.