By Ashley Denny.
After starting off the season last year as one of the most explosive running backs in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Clemson’s Andre Ellington suffered a season ending foot injury that he’s still recovering from.
Ellington’s recovery process is almost over though, and Ellington isn’t the only person who is day dreaming about him getting back on the field.
“I have to admit, I daydream about Offensive Coordinator Chad Morris’s offense and what it will be like with Ellington in it,” Clemson’s Head Coach Dabo Swinney said. “I tell Coach Morris all of the time that he’s going to love Ellington, he’s seen a little bit of his explosiveness on tape but seeing it live is a completely different thing.”
Ellington who is said to be fully recovered by the beginning of June will be taking it week by week and hopes to continue to get better.
“On Monday I started doing some cuts,” Ellington said. “It felt good but I’m a little sore now, I’m just so ready to get out there with the team and be 100%.”
Because Ellington hasn’t been able to practice as much as he’s wanted to because of his injury he hasn’t been able to learn Chad Morris’s new offense and he admits that it’s been difficult for him to catch on by solely watching practice.
“It’s pretty tough,” Ellington said. “I’m a guy that learns by example, from participating but I’ve sat back and watched and processed everything, the plays and signals, I’ll be ready when it’s time.”
Since Ellington has not been able to practice, he has spent time coaching Clemson’s younger running backs Demont Buice, D.J. Howard and Rod McDowell, teaching them everything that he knows from experience and helping them improve their game knowing that they will be playing more of a role in this year’s offense.
“I’m really proud of those guys; they’re coming along pretty good.” Ellington said. “McDowell has really been coming along, but there’s still a lot that he needs to learn, still a lot that I need to learn. When I came into the program I didn’t know anything but had CJ Spiller there to help coach me along, I’m just trying to be a leader and help these guys like CJ helped me.”
Coach Swinney is sure that when Ellington is recovered and ready to practice in June he will come out a better player than he was last season and will not lose one ounce of his explosiveness.
“Because of his experience and how hard he’s been working during the off season in the weight room, I see him coming out this summer a better player than he was last year.” Swinney said. “He’s matured both mentally and physically and I’m just very excited to have him back and for Coach Morris to see this explosive back live for the first time.”