The post-spring review: RB

With the 2013 edition of spring practice now in the books, CUTigers is on to running back in the position by position look at the Clemson roster.

In the mix

Roderick McDowell: After spending his first few years at Clemson buried on the depth chart, McDowell had a breakout season in 2012. He was second among Clemson running backs last season with 450 rushing yards and third on the team with five touchdowns on the ground. His 5.4 yards per carry were first among Tiger rushers with 25 carries or more.

D.J. Howard: The 2012 season saw a drop in production for Howard. After rushing for 230 yards as a redshirt freshman in 2011, Howard had 138 yards a year later.

Zac Brooks: A former four-star recruit, Brooks played just 66 snaps during his first season on the Clemson campus. Last year, he had 26 rushes for 119 yards. Sixty-two of those yards came against Duke.

Joining the mix

Running backs coach Tony Elliott will welcome a pair of freshmen to his group later this summer when Wayne Gallman and Tyshon Dye arrive to the Clemson campus.

Both are from the state of Georgia. And both are four-star prospects, according to Dye was ranked the No. 27 running back in the 2013 class. Gallman was No. 40.

Brooks is more confident in his second year at Clemson.
The Clemson coaches plan to sign two more running backs in the 2014 haul. Two were already on board -- Jae'lon Oglesby and Dalvin Cook, but Cook recently flipped his pledge to Florida.

Easley three-star C.J. Fuller could hop on board with a commitment in the next several weeks. Clemson is also being considered by Elijah Hood, Derrell Scott, Donte Williams and Adam Choice, among others.

Key storyline

After patiently waiting his turn for four years behind the likes of C.J. Spiller, Jamie Harper and Andre Ellington, McDowell is ready for his time to shine.

McDowell entered and exited spring practice as the No. 1 running back on the roster. Now, heading into the summer, the question has changed -- who is No. 2?

Candidate to be a star

We'll go with McDowell, mainly because there aren't many guys that would have stuck around like he did.

Now that his long-awaited opportunity is here, who's to say McDowell isn't going to make the most of it?

A redshirt senior season with upwards of 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns certainly would make for a sweet ending for McDowell. And those are star-worthy numbers that would merit consideration for All-ACC status.

Looking ahead to the fall

Though he's projected as the starter in the season opener against Georgia, it's unlikely that McDowell will be used in a feature back-type of role this season.

Brooks and Howard battled for that job this spring. On Thursday morning, Dabo Swinney will release the post-spring depth chart. Both showed signs of improvement during the spring, particularly during the Orange and White game.

Then, there are the new guys.

It's no secret that the folks at CUTigers are big fans of Dye. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound prospect possesses the size and power that Morris is looking to add to the hurry-up, no-huddle offense. Plus, he catches the ball extremely well out of the backfield.

At 6-1, 195, Gallman has many of those same qualities possess by Dye. Both will compete for time behind McDowell when they arrive this summer. Top Stories