So far this spring, Clemson co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott likes the physicality he is seeing from his running backs.
In 2017, pass protection from the running back position was not at its best. Wayne Gallman, who was a master in pass protection, spoiled the offensive coaches in 2015 and ’16 with his knowledge, his physicality and his ability to read defenses.
Elliott saw marked improvement from his guys last year, but he wanted to see his running backs become more physical at the point of attack, but also play a little smarter as well.
In no surprise to Elliott, veteran Adam Choice is having the most success in pass protection this spring, but he likes what he is seeing from junior Tavien Feaster and sophomore Travis Etienne as well.
“Choice is a guy who is ahead, and he should, because he is the oldest guy and has the most knowledge,” Elliott said after Wednesday’s practice. “You see him trying to be more physical.”
Physicality has never been an issue with Etienne. However, understanding what he is seeing and using the proper technique has been his struggle. But that has changed this spring.
“Travis, I’m really seeing an effort to use the technique we are trying to use,” Elliott said. “Travis is a contact kid, a physical kid, but he is still 195 pounds and he has a tendency to drop his shoulder.
“Now, I think he is buying into the fact that if I use proper technique then I can get my whole body involved as opposed to just my shoulder.”
Elliott says Feaster also has a better mentality of understanding what he is seeing and being more aggressive.
“I have seen Tavien, as well, have a better mentality of just attacking the line of scrimmage,” the Clemson coach said. “Now, he has to do a better job of bringing his hands. A lot of times he just relies on his 225 pounds, but to be able to hold up, if he continues to improve in bringing his hands then he has a chance to be really good.”