When Travis Etienne is given a breather in Saturday’s game at Wake Forest, it’s likely Lyn-J Dixon will be the next guy to take the field at running back. Unless the junior still has not recovered from the injured knee he suffered during camp.
Dixon has been limited in practice the last two weeks and Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott said the days leading up to Saturday’s season opener will tell them a lot on how they will use Dixon. If Dixon is not able to go, could Clemson fans see former 5-star running back Demarkcus Bowman earlier than expected?
It is not likely.
“Demarkcus is kind of where he is,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said following Wednesday’s practice. “They are all doing fine. We have a really good running back room. Bowman is as advertised. He can fly. He is special, but he has a lot to learn. A lot to learn at the position.”
Swinney said Elliott, who is also Clemson’s running backs coach, is a very detailed coach. He isn’t just going to run a player out on the field that is not ready because he is a highly recruited player. Senior, and former walk-on, Darien Rencher will likely be the next choice for Elliott if Dixon can’t go.
Sophomore Michel Dukes is likely next in line, followed by Bowman and fellow freshman Kobe Pace. Sophomore Chez Mellusi will likely not play due to a clavicle injury he suffered in a scrimmage a few weeks back.
“Mellusi has been working his way back from his clavicle thing. He has been out a long time, but he is getting close,” Swinney said. “Those two freshmen, Kobe and Bowman, they are just kind of coming along.
“Mikey Dukes had a great camp, so all of those guys can play. You don’t just get to go be the first-team guy because you are a highly recruited guy. They are all highly recruited. But (Bowman) is working hard and learning every single day.”
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