Gaddis Move Could Pay Dividends: Part I

C.J. Gaddis has quickly become a fan favorite and he's yet to even play a down for the Clemson Tigers. In this first of a three part series, we examine why Gaddis was moved to defense, and explain why the move will be viewed as nothing short of a huge success in the coming seasons.

One of the more intriguing stories of spring practice was the position switch of backup quarterback C.J. Gaddis. After tabbing him the best athlete on campus, head coach Tommy Bowden disappointed many Clemson fans by moving him to over to defense.

But fear not Clemson fans, as C.J. Gaddis will push for a starting position at cornerback as soon as this fall.

Although he was a backup quarterback at the time, it was as a return man that C.J. Gaddis caught the eye of Tommy Bowden last fall.

Bowden, who was looking to improve the special teams, probably didn't feel too good after watching Gaddis rip through his kick coverage squads time after time on the practice fields. Keeping his promise however, Bowden left Gaddis as a quarterback during his redshirt year, even though he was buried on the depth chart.

So this spring, Bowden did what was natural and moved him to cornerback.

Wait a second, cornerback???

That's right, cornerback, and this move could end up becoming one of the best moves made by Tommy Bowden since his arrival on campus more than 5 years ago.

Here are a few reasons why:

No starting job at WR
The idea is to get Gaddis on the field. With Clemson losing three of the top playmakers at wide receiver it makes perfect sense to move your best athlete to that position, right?


With the moves of Chansi Stuckey and Gerald McCloud to wide out, and the emergence of Kelvin Grant, the Clemson offense will have plenty of contributors at the wide receiver position this fall.

Last year, the offense used four primary receivers in Derrick Hamilton, Kevin Youngblood, Airese Currie and Tony Elliott and a couple of minor contributors in Curtis Baham and Kelvin Grant.

This year, Stuckey, Grant, and Baham will join Currie as the primary receivers with McCloud and Collins providing adequate backup. With no experience at all at the wide receiver position, it could take Gaddis half the season to work himself into the rotation. And with the experience of Currie, Stuckey and Grant it is hard to imagine C.J. surpassing any of the three for a starting job.

"C.J. could probably be a very productive wide out for us, maybe even tailback, but we are struggling right now in the secondary at corner," said Bowden after spring practice. "So we felt like he's got the potential to get over there and help us. He's got the ability to be a potential starter."

With three young receivers coming in this fall and several high school standouts already giving Clemson attention early in the recruiting process, the future certainly looks bright.

And when to take all of those things into consideration, it is no wonder why Tommy Bowden elected to move C.J. over to defense.

Tomorrow, we'll examine the other main factors in Bowden's decision, and break it down even further for all you naysayers out there. Top Stories