Preseason camp preview: RB

With the open of fall camp almost a month away, breaks down the Clemson roster one position at a time.

1. Andre Ellington, RS Jr.
2010: Jamie Harper and Ellington entered the season as co-starters at the position. Ellington soon emerged as the clear-cut No. 1 back. And he was in the process of putting together an all-conference caliber performance last season before a foot injury the fourth quarter against Boston College put the brakes on that bid. He finished the season with 686 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns over 118 carries. Ellington was sidelined for the final three games in ACC play, registered one carry in the season finale against South Carolina and sat out the bowl game.

This spring: Even with his early December surgery, Ellington did not participate in spring practice. He was allowed to begin running and cutting on solid ground. His previous rehabilitation had been limited to work in a swimming pool.

Heading into the fall: It's expected that Ellington's foot will be 100 percent ready to roll when Troy visits Clemson for the season opener. Still, his progress during preseason camp will be among the most highly monitored by coaches and media like.

2. Mike Bellamy, Fr.
2010: As a senior at Charlotte High School in Punta Gorda, Fla., Bellamy put up video game-like numbers. The Under Armour All-American rushed 178 times for 1,933 yards and 36 touchdowns as a senior. He finished his career with 7,329 yards and 110 touchdowns. His touchdown total set a Florida high school record. Bellamy was also the leading rusher in the Under Armour All-American Game with 56 yards on 13 carries.

This spring: Bellamy finished his high school career at Charlotte and became fully qualified for enrollment at Clemson.

Heading into the fall: His game-breaking skill will be utilized immediately by first-year offensive coordinator Chad Morris. Bellamy is expected to lineup as a running back, take carries off end-around plays and work into the passing game. He's projected as the No. 2 running back behind Ellington.

3. D.J. Howard, RS Fr.
2010: A redshirt last season, Howard rushed for 1,500 yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior at Lincoln High School in Alabama.

This spring: With Ellington out, Howard worked against McDowell and Demont Buice during spring practice. In the spring game, he rushed 11 times for 97 yards and a touchdown.

Heading into the fall: Howard will be competing for carries behind Ellington. Since Bellamy is projected as the No. 2 running back, touches could be at a premium but he does figure to see the field, especially early in the year.

4. Demont Buice, RS Fr.
2010: A redshirt last season, Buice rushed for 897 yards on 71 carries and 14 touchdowns as a senior at Gaston High School in Gadsden, Ala.

This spring: Buice rushed for a game-high 102 yards on 18 carries in the spring game. He also scored a touchdown, displaying good vision and ample power in the process.

Heading into the fall: Buice provides an option as the hammer-back that Morris hopes to have as a complimentary rusher out of his backfield.

5. Roderick McDowell, RS So.
2010: McDowell had arguably the strongest preseason camp last season, but injuries at the end of camp slowed down his progress and he never made much of an impact in 2010. He finished with 161 yards on 32 carries and a touchdown in 59 snaps.

This spring: McDowell was part of a three-way battle at running back this spring. In the Orange and White spring game, he rushed for 100 yards and 12 carries.

Heading into the fall: Since Bellamy projects as the No. 2, McDowell will battle for carries with the two guys he competed against in the spring. Top Stories