Brooks continues to impress Morris
By Will Vandervort
Clemson running back Zac Brooks really got the coaches attention when he reported to camp bigger and stronger. He later opened their eyes with his knowledge of the offense. Then he rushed for 79 yards on seven carries in last week’s scrimmage, including one for 44 yards. That really got their attention.
Now it seems like he is becoming Mr. Steady in the backfield. The sophomore running back continued his impressive camp Tuesday as he again caught the eye of the most important guy running the offense – offensive coordinator Chad Morris.
“Zac Brooks is the one who is probably having as good a camp as anybody,” the Clemson coach said.
Morris says Brooks has really come on and is pushing Roderick McDowell for the starting spot. The Tigers coordinator says he doesn’t have a starting running back, yet, but he has seen some good in each of them to this point.
“Hot Rod is doing some good things and D.J. (Howard) is showing signs and is having a good camp, but he has not quite busted out like we hoped we would be seeing.”
Morris says the two freshmen—Tyshon Dye and Wayne Gallman—continue to come on but Gallman seems to be a little ahead right now.
“He continues to come on a little bit stronger,” Morris said. “In live action, he is definitely making some things happen.”
Brooks has impressed Morris because he is moving the changes. He is catching the ball well and is doing some good things in pass protection. But more than anything, he is bigger than McDowell. Brooks is 6-foot-1 and weighs 195 pounds.
“D.J. and Hot Rod do the same, too, but Zac is just a bigger body,” Morris said. “He has a tendency to more of punishing style of a runner.”
Morris says all three running backs will play this year. The one thing they can all work on he said is ball security.
“You are not going to be able to come in with one running back or two running backs,” he said. “I think there is a healthy competition going on in that room. Coach (Tony) Elliott is doing a great job with those guys and is holding their feet to the fire.
“Each day, it seems one is better than the other. We still have a long way to go in camp so we will see how this thing goes.”