Let’s face it. Kelly Bryant being named the starting quarterback over Trevor Lawrence was expected.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney had been solid with his statements all spring and summer when it came to Bryant being he is No. 1 quarterback until he or someone else proved him wrong.
However, nobody saw Adam Choice moving up the depth chart and jumping Tavien Feaster. After having what co-offensive coordinator and running backs coach Tony Elliott said, “Was a great summer,” Choice appeared as Clemson’s No. 2 running back on the depth chart for this Saturday’s opener against Furman at Death Valley.
Travis Etienne will get his first career start for the Tigers.
Last year, Choice rushed for 326 yards and averaged 4.9 yards per carry. He also scored a career-high six touchdowns. Feaster was second on the team in rushing behind Etienne, running for 669 yards, while averaging 6.3 yards per carry. He scored seven touchdowns, including an 89-yard touchdown against NC State, the longest run from scrimmage by a Tiger since 1990.
“It’s just a situation of competition, and it’s very, very close,” Elliott said Monday about his decision to put Choice as the No. 2 running back. “I could have listed it as ‘or’ but I felt like obviously Feaster was a little bit hampered coming into camp with the knee, and I think he’s back to where he needs to be right now. In that time, Choice took a lot of reps, so that’s just where we’re going to start.”
Other than the play of freshman Lyn-J Dixon, Choice was the hot topic coming out of the running back room in fall camp. It seemed as if in every press gathering following a practice Swinney, Elliott or co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott had something to say about the senior.
In the end, Elliott felt as if Choice deserved to move up. He thought Choice had the better camp.
He was also awarded for his loyalty. It would have been easy for him to leave Clemson as a graduate student and transfer to a school where he could be the starter and get more reps.
However, Choice stuck with the Tigers and now he is being rewarded for his hard work and dedication to the program and his teammates.
“When you look at the situation and we evaluate the depth chart, we tell guys all the time that the senior is going to get the nod,” Elliott said. “So it was more a situation of Adam has paid his dues. He produced in camp, and that’s where we’re going to start. … That could change throughout the course in time, but that’s where we’re going to start.”