Following the conclusion of Clemson’s spring practice and the annual Orange and White Game in April, speculation began to mount that running back Tavien Feaster would transfer after his graduation at the end of the summer.
Feaster eventually told the media he had to transfer and make a business decision to improve his draft stock and show he could be a premier tailback. The decision came after spring practice when he dipped from a firm second on the depth chart behind Travis Etienne to vying for time with sophomore Lyn-J Dixon.
Not only did Feaster transfer but in August he teamed up with the Tigers’ rival at South Carolina. So, how has the former five-star’s business decision paid off?
For starters the Gamecocks have had a rather disappointing season as they enter Saturday’s Clemson-Carolina game with a 4-7 record, including a 2-6 mark in the SEC. South Carolina failed to qualify for a bowl game and the program looks rather tumultuous with serious miscommunication between the athletic department, football staff and the president of the university.
On the other hand, if Feaster still donned the orange and white, he would be preparing for a fourth ACC Championship game and potentially a fourth College Football Playoff appearance. Big-time games lead to big-time exposure and that have paid off for Clemson players during its CFP success.
Statistically speaking, the graduate transfer has a new career high in carries with 112 for South Carolina with his previous best for Clemson was 107 in 2017 for 669 yards, 45 more than he currently has for the Gamecocks.
This season Feaster enters Saturday with 5.6 yards per carry which ties his lowest mark for Clemson in 2018. But, in 2016 and 2017 he amassed 6.0 and 6.3 yards per carry respectively.
His longest carry on the year totaled 37 yards which is the lowest of his four years in college with a 45-yard carry as a freshman, an 89-yard carry his sophomore year and a 70-yard carry his junior year.
One area that proved especially valuable for Feaster at Clemson was his ability to catch the ball out of the back field in limited action. In 2017 he totaled 12 receptions for 112 yards and a touchdown, in 2018 he caught 11 passes for 71 yards and this season he has caught 13 passes for 79 yards.
He scored five touchdowns this season which is higher than only his freshman season at Clemson when he scored two touchdowns. Feaster scored eight times his sophomore year and six times as a junior.
One area Feaster has seen a significant uptick is 100-yard games, he recorded two in three years for the Tigers … in 2017 with seven carries for 105 yards and a touchdown against North Carolina State and in 2018 with seven carries for 105 yards and two touchdowns against Louisville.
At South Carolina he recorded 175 yards on 25 carries and one touchdown against Florida and 15 carries for 107 yards and two touchdowns vs. Kentucky.
While Feaster’s business decision may not have proved him to be a feature tailback, as he split time most of the year with senior Rico Dowdle, he did not necessarily take a step back. However, he may pay for the lack of exposure and potentially the three games he lost by becoming a Gamecock.
Clemson and South Carolina kick off at noon at South Carolina’s Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia on Saturday afternoon.
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