Ellington was on display for the first time to the media during offseason workouts Monday, and if there was one player among the freshmen who was surprisingly in outstanding physical condition, it was definitely him.
"I knew it was going to be hard coming in here given the situation at running back. But I've been working hard during the summer, getting ready to come up here," he told CUTigers.com. "I'm about 180 pounds right now and I'm just ready to work hard and see what happens."
While the spotlight is clearly on Harper going into preseason camp, don't forget Ellington was the No. 1-ranked running back in South Carolina last year and like Harper, he also was named to the Under-Armour All-American game.
He also rushed for 1,800 yards and scored 24 touchdowns as a senior and was ranked as the No. 24 running back in the nation by Scout.com.
"Offense-wise I feel like I fit in here," he said. "Next year James is going to be gone and C.J. could be gone and it could end up just being me and Jamie so we have to both be ready, and that starts this year."
The sooner the former four-star running back is ready to see the field, the better, especially with the news coming out Tuesday that senior running back Rendrick Taylor is likely going to redshirt this season.
With Taylor out of the mix, that gives the staff two proven options in the backfield with Davis and Spiller- and that's pretty much it.
"I'll leave it up to the coaches," he said. "If they want to redshirt me then that's fine and I'll get ready to work hard in preparation for next year. If they want me to play, well then I'm ready for it."
Ellington said he knew throughout the recruiting process about the depth chart at running back, and even though that could limit his snaps this year, it was still one of the big reasons he chose Clemson.
"I know there's a lot of talent up here," he said. "There's a running back tradition so when you come to Clemson you know that coming in. But that's a reason I came here too. Clemson is known for having great running backs and hopefully I can be the next one."
So while Davis and Spiller will get a majority of the carries this year, and most of the fans focus on Harper, don't forget about Andre Ellington.
He's just another option on a team already loaded with offensive weapons.
Ellington Gives Tigers Options
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