By Trey McCurry.
TheClemsonInsider had a chance to catch up with Andre Ellington and Jamie Harper after the team’s first scrimmage on Tuesday.
Both running backs said they played pretty good, but still noted they had a good ways to go. Ellington specifically spoke of the effort given during the scrimmage. “We did an outstanding job today,” said number 23. “We made a few mental errors and we will work on and correct those at practice tomorrow.”
Harper spoke about how good it was to see everyone at full speed and hitting each other and also about the effort and execution during the scrimmage.
“We executed pretty well today, even with fatigue setting in,” said the junior running back. “That really shows the great strength program we have here with Coach (Joey) Batson that we were still rolling and not too winded at the end of the scrimmage.”
Both players also had praise for Roderick “Hot Rod” McDowell as they both commented on how well he was coming along this fall. Harper described him as “a different person out there on the field,” and complemented him on how well he was picking up the system. Ellington praised him for his hard work, how he never wants to go down, and how he is fighting each day to be a better player.
Both players hope to be a veteran role model for McDowell as well as the other running backs on the roster just as C.J. Spiller was to them last season. Ellington and Harper each spoke to how much of a role model he was to them last season and how they hoped to lead like he did them.
Ellington and Harper were both asked about Coach Swinney’s comparison from last week of how close they were, and that they may even be closer than Spiller and James Davis were during their time here. Ellington said it was just “great being compared to those two guys who did so many great things for this program.” Harper focused more on his friendship with his teammate. “Generally if you can find Andre, you can find me and we are generally competing at everything we do, both on and off the field.”
Even with the loss of Spiller, Clemson fans still have plenty of reason to be excited about the running back position with each of these two players in the backfield.