No one should ever be criticized for wanting better for themselves
When Tavien Feaster came to Clemson in 2016, he’d already been anointed the next big thing at the running back position. He was a high four star prospect, the number one all purpose back in the nation, and a top thirty player overall according to the 247 Composite Rankings.
After gaining 222 yards on 37 carries, he won the “Future Impact Player” award after his freshman season. His sophomore season saw his production increase to 669 yards on 107 carries, averaging over six yards per carry.
Then in his junior season he saw that production drop to 440 yards on just 78 carries, which is still over 5.5 yards per carry. However, he also played 140 less snaps as a junior. The writing was on the wall.
Going into his senior season with Travis Etienne entrenched as the number one back and Lyn J Dixon looking at a bigger role, Feaster was in a precarious situation. We are talking about a running back with NFL talent after all.
With one season of eligibility left, he knows it’s now or never. Transferring was his only logical choice in regards to helping increase his draft stock, which one would imagine isn’t very high as of today. He surely wasn’t going to do that from the Clemson sidelines watching Etienne and Dixon handling the bulk of the load.
South Carolina and Virginia Tech are the two finalists for his services. The narrative so often seen on social media centers on the question of why anyone would want to leave a proven winner to go play somewhere else. The answer is simple, he’s already done the winning part, now it’s time to make sure he’s put himself in the best position possible come draft day. To do everything he can to secure his future financially.
He wants to go out and show he can play the role of the primary back. That he can do more than be part of a platoon. That he’s not just a situational back. That he can be the number one guy.
The NFL also places a high premium on backs that can make plays out of the backfield in the passing game and that’s something we all know Feaster can do. We have seen glimpses of it in his three years as a Tiger. Unfortunately, only glimpses as he’s caught a total of just 23 passes. It’s just not something we see a lot of in the Clemson offense. Going to another team and showcasing that ability could pay huge dividends for him.
Having a player transfer to South Carolina is something no Clemson fan is ever going to be happy about. They’re the hated rival, that’s understandable. If an in state kid wants to leave Clemson and stay close to home however, there aren’t many options available that are closer to home than Columbia.
Maybe he ends up in Blacksburg. However, if he does end up in garnet and black, it is possible to wish the best for Feaster personally, while still rooting against the team he plays for. Those two things don’t have to be one in the same.
No, Clemson fans absolutely do not want to see Tigers transferring to South Carolina. It’s called a rivalry for a reason. However, it’s something that shouldn’t be taken so personally by fans. It surely isn’t personal for him.