No offense, but it's disrespectful

CLEMSON - Zac Brooks really would like to stop disrespecting Raymond Priester, James Davis, C.J. Spiller and Terry Allen.

In Brooks' book, a fumble is the ultimate slight towards anyone who has ever played running back at Clemson.

"We can run as hard as we want, get as many yards as we want, but if we put that ball on the ground, it's a smack in the face to every Clemson back that ever came through," Brooks said. "We can't do that. It's just something that we can't do."

Brooks channeled his inner Rick James plenty of times during his first year on campus.

Based on Chad Morris' comments from earlier this week, it would appear that Brooks has kept a tight grip on the ball over the last couple of weeks. So far, according to Morris, Brooks is having "as good a camp" as any other running back.

"He's moving the chains right now," Morris said. "He's doing some good things in pass protection and catches the ball really well. D.J. [Howard] and Hot Rod [McDowell] do, too.

"He's just a bigger body and has a tendency to be more of a punishing style of runner."

Weight has also been part of the challenge. Brooks arrived to Clemson in January of 2012 just shy of 180 pounds. Now, he's consistently checking in around 195.

An increase in mass could lead to an increase in production. Brooks hopes that he can build on last season's total of 26 carries for 119 yards.

"I know that I've worked hard enough to put out more than what I put out last year," Brooks said. "I really believe that the coaches have more confidence in me, because I've showed them more. I've performed and shown preparation than I did last year."

Keeping his 6-foot-1 frame lower to the ground will help out in every facet.

"I've been trying. That's one thing that I've always had to work on. It's just me being me, coming from receiver, I feel like I run faster running in a straight up motion," Brooks said. "I've just got to get confidence in myself, staying low and running, keeping my balance. It's just a work in progress."

After all, it wasn't all that long ago that he was a four-star wide receiver coming out of Jonesboro, Ark. in 2012.

"I'm just going to put out the best effort I can put out and whatever the coaches decide to do with what I put out, then I'm fine with that," Brooks said. Top Stories