Summer position glimpse: running back

There will be plenty of options for Dabo Swinney to choose from when he has to decide on a starting running back for the season opener against Georgia.

For the first time in a few years, Clemson will enter preseason camp with no clear starter at running back.

Running Back


Projected starter: RS senior D.J. Howard

Backups: Howard, the lone senior in the group, isn't listed as the projected starter just because he's the oldest running back on the roster. Dabo Swinney praised Howard throughout the spring, calling it the best of his career. Plus, for the first time in a long time, Howard is healthy. But, at this point, it's very much in the air as to who will get the first touch in Athens. Junior Zac Brooks and redshirt junior C.J. Davidson will also be in the mix for the starting job, so is Wayne Gallman. Fellow redshirt freshman Tyshon Dye is expected to be back from an Achilles tear sometime this season.

What we learned in the spring: Gallman is as advertised. Before the spring game, it had been over a year since any reporter or fan got to see Gallman run the ball in a live situation. His performance didn't disappoint: 61 yards on nine carries.

Long-term future: It's quite clear the direction Chad Morris is moving in when it comes to recruiting the running back position. Morris wants bigger, thicker backs. We've seen that with the additions of Gallman, Dye, Adam Choice and C.J. Fuller.

Choice is the only one of the three 2014 running backs signed by Clemson that we know will be on campus this fall -- Fuller and Jae'lon Oglesby are still unknowns when it comes to qualifying. Howard will be gone after this season and Brooks will be a senior in 2015. Not counting the potential academic casualties from the previous class, it would appear that Clemson will sign just one running back to the 2015 haul.

Moving forward: We're probably going to see as many as six different backs taking handoffs from Cole Stoudt this season. Brooks, Davidson and Howard are likely to get a majority of the touches. Gallman, Dye and 3-back Jay Jay McCullough will get a share of the load, too. At this point, the Clemson running back situation has a by-committee-feel to it.

CUTigers.com Top Stories