Eye on Ellington

CLEMSON - Lightning in Death Valley could take new form from No. 28 to No. 23 next season.

The comparisons between C.J. Spiller and Andre Ellington are almost too good to be true for Clemson fans.

Even head coach Dabo Swinney has admitted several times that he's had to look twice to see who is who during camp.

"A lot of people recognize my talent as similar to C.J.," Ellington told CUTigers in a recent interview. "Both more like a scat back. He can run between the tackles, catch passes out of the backfield and use his speed. "I'm kind of similar to him."

Spiller understands the importance of having young players who are ready and able to step right in and pick up after an experienced senior moves on.

"Having been in the system now for a couple of years, he knows what to expect," Spiller said. "He's very quick, very fast and very talented. They're going to be fine once I leave here."

After a red-shirt year in 2008, one which Ellington admits he struggled with at first, he's already been learning for a full year what it takes to be a productive college running back.

"C.J. and James (Davis) kind of talked to me about the situation," said Ellington, as he and Spiller walked from the practice fields to the locker room on Wednesday. "They said it was probably the best thing to get a lot of learning experience. To watch those guys (it was)."

Along with his willingness to sit back and learn from the veterans, it sure helps those two are some of the most productive running backs in Clemson history.

Spiller believes Ellington carries the same mentality he brought to camp a few years ago as a freshman, competing for playing time.

"When I got here I was trying to get on the field by showing that quickness and not being scared of the competition," Spiller said. "That's something you've got to love about a first year guy. When you put him out there with the first team guys, how they'll fair. He'll do an awesome job with that."

Always talking about the game with one another and studying film together, the advice isn't one way. "He gives me advice as well," Spiller said.

"We have great chemistry. I learn from him and he learns from me." Not only is Ellington looking at Spiller's work on the field but he's also keeping a close on eye on what he's done outside of the football field.

"On the field he's a great leader. Off the field he's a great leader too," Ellington said.

Spiller is confidence that Ellington has some good seasons ahead in the orange and purple.

"Andre is going to be a great contributor to the team in the future and during this year helping us win games," Spiller said.

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