Running BacksDabo Swinney, Chad Morris and company must be thanking their lucky stars that Andre Ellington decided to return to Clemson for his redshirt senior season. Had Ellington opted to turn pro, it's possible that the Tigers would have just three running backs on the roster in 2012.
Ellington, last year's leading rusher with 1,178 yards and 11 scores, finished one spot ahead of Bellamy, who was second with 343 yards. Bellamy also averaged six yards per carry during his only season at Clemson.
Now that Bellamy won't be available to spell Ellington, it'll be a three-way battle between D.J. Howard, Roderick McDowell and early enrolled freshman Zac Brooks.
Last season, Howard rushed for 230 yards while McDowell had 63.
If need be, there are at least two more candidates for touches out of the backfield -- Sammy Watkins and Germone Hopper.
Watkins was third on the team last year with 231 yards while Hopper rushed for over 4,000 yards and 50 touchdowns during his high school career.
Notable options for 2013
Wayne Gallman is one of two players on the offensive side of the ball that have committed to Clemson.
Gallman, a four-star commitment from Grayson High School in Loganville, Ga., fits the big back mold that Morris has targeted for the 2013 class.
The four-star, who's ranked as the No. 32 running back in the class of 2013, committed to the Tigers in April. He committed to Clemson over offers from Georgia, Auburn and Florida State.
At this point, it's pretty much a three-way battle between Clemson, Auburn and Georgia. But South Carolina and Tennessee are still in the mix. Folks close to Dye think it's a safe bet that he will stay close to home -- Elberton County High School in Georgia.
Scout.com lists Dye as a four-star prospect and ranks him as the No. 20 running back in the country. As a junior, he rushed for 703 yards on 103 carries.
Right now, Green is the popular choice among Clemson fans to be the second running back take by Clemson in 2013, and for good reason.
The Hermitage High School [Richmond, Va.] junior is a bruising runner at 5-11, 220.
Green, the No. 17 running back in the nation, is also listed as a four-star prospect. With over 30 offers, Clemson was once considered his favorite.
Clemson is still a player in the Ryan Green sweepstakes. So are Florida State, Florida, Notre Dame, Tennessee and Oregon.
Also a four-star, he's ranked the No. 18 running back prospect.
Marquez Grayson is among the class of 2013 prospects that is high on Clemson.
Clemson, Tennessee and Virginia Tech are the top three players for Grayson, a three-star prospect.
Grayson, who's ranked as the No. 33 running back, is another big back [6-1, 200 pounds].
The RestPeyton Barber