Lots to choose from

CLEMSON - The race for the starting running back job, for now, is running four-wide with D.J. Howard, Zac Brooks, C.J. Davidson and Wayne Gallman all in the mix.

Dabo Swinney likes what he's seen from each of the four this spring.

"D.J. is leading the way. I'm proud of him. He's had, by far, his best spring. He's been consistent and steady," Swinney said. "Zac, same thing, pleased with him, then C.J., and Gallman is that red gumball. He sticks out."

In 13 games in 2013, Howard rushed 57 times for 213 yards and two touchdowns. Brooks, whose season was cut short by injury, had 48 carries for 246 yards and two scores. Also hampered by an injury late in the season, Davidson ran 34 times for 155 yards and five touchdowns. Gallman, along with fellow 2013 signee Tyshon Dye, took a redshirt.

"It's good to see [Howard] have a good spring to this point. He, Zac, C.J. and Gallman and kind of split the [first-team reps] and [second-team reps]," Swinney said. "Zac and D.J. have gotten a majority of the 1s. C.J. has rolled in there a pretty good bit and we've mixed Gallman in there as well.

"Those four guys have been the primary focus. We go fast and play a lot of snaps, so they're all getting their fair share of touches. That's one thing we do. We chart all of the touches. That's one of the things I look at, because I want to know how many times guys are touching the ball as we go through spring ball, because that's the only way I can evaluate them, so it's been good.


Gallman has been strong this spring.
"I think we've got a really good group there. I think it's going to be a strength for us. I know that may sound crazy, but that's going to be a strength for us."

In addition to the spring four, there are at least two others who will get into the fold later this year.

Dye is on the shelf with an Achilles injury. Incoming freshman running back Adam Choice, who's been mentioned by Swinney several times during spring practice, is also banged up right now with a shoulder injury.

"One of my favorite signees that we have," Swinney said of Choice. "Phenomenal person, great family, just fully committed to being great. That's his DNA. That's how he's been his whole life. Guys like that, they don't usually change. That's who they are.

"Special runner, a special runner with the ball in his hands, obviously he played quarterback during his career. Man, can he run the football. He has great vision, has great strength, he's durable, has had tremendous success his whole career. He's a big-time winner, another smart guy. I just think he's a great fit for what we do. I just love who he is, above and beyond the talent that he has."

Whether or not Choice is fully recovered from the shoulder injury by the time he gets to Clemson remains to be seen.

"I promised his momma, we're not going to rush it. We're going to make sure that he's fully healed up before we put him out there," Swinney said.

Clemson also signed Jae'lon Oglesby out of Daniel and C.J. Fuller from Easley. Both continue to work to get their academics in order, so they can qualify to enroll in 2014.

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