Assuming control

CLEMSON – Far from satisfied from a year that saw finish as Clemson's second highest rusher, Andre Ellington is anxious to get into the 2010 season.

As a red-shirt freshman, he ran 68 times for 491 yards and four touchdowns and his 7.2 yards per carry was best on the team- even topping ACC Player of the Year C.J. Spiller.

"It was an alright season, I guess," he told CUTigers, brushing aside any openings for individual achievement.

Forget about any individual talk from Ellington, anyway.

"I just want to go out there and provide for my team the best way I can just to help us get the win," he said.

Ellington's already made it clear that he's happy to split time with fellow running back Jamie Harper. After coming so close to one title a just a year ago, the low-country native is ready for another shot.

A successful season starts with redemption at the ACC Championship.

"At the end of the year, if we're standing up there with a championship trophy, that would let me know that I had my best season," he said.

Throw in another Clemson National Championship, for good measure.

"We're going for both goals this year," Ellington said.

The groundwork of those wintertime aspirations are already in place. With the start of camp less than month away, the Tigers have hit the dog days of summer workouts.

"The older guys try to teach the younger guys the ropes to get them ready for the season. For the veterans, we try to go out there and maintain," he said.

Of course it will be anything but easy.

Because of the obvious losses to attrition, the Tigers' offense will change. A year ago C.J. Spiller, Jacoby Ford and Michael Palmer accounted for 155 of the 220 catches and Spiller and Ford combined for 234 of the 496 carries.

"It'll be more versatile," insists Ellington. "We have a lot of guys that you can put the ball in their hands. A lot of guys that can do things in space make moves. We have a very experienced offensive line coming back."

That experienced line will be critical in many ways. With the core of Clemson's offensive front returning this season, there's hope the orange and white can take the next step offensively and become a true power running team.

That point is not lost on Ellington.

"I do have a lot of respect for the offensive line, a lot of confidence in them," he said. "They showed me they can do it in the spring and I think they can carry on into the fall."

The other pre-season thought weighing on Ellington and the rest of the offense's mind is quarterback Kyle Parker and his looming decision.

"We'll talk about it," Ellington said. "While we're working out and preparing ourselves for the season, we try not to think about it…if he left, we'll just have to go on without him. If he came back, he'd just help out even more."

Regardless of what happens over the next few weeks, the work still goes on. There's a football season to start on Aug. 3.

"I just approach it like that wasn't the best season I can have. I want to have that in the next one," Ellington said. Top Stories