Travis Etienne is off to the NFL, meaning the Tigers need someone to step up at running back.
Conventional wisdom says Lyn-J Dixon will get the first crack at filling that role. Despite playing a reserve role behind Etienne, Dixon will enter next season as Clemson’s second all-time leading rusher in yards per carry (6.60) and has rushed for 1,372 yards in his three-year career.
So far this spring head coach Dabo Swinney is really liking what he is seeing from his veteran running back.
“I really like what I’ve seen out of Lyn-J,” Swinney said. “He’s got a fire under his rear, and I love it. You know, there’s a difference between running to a fire and running to get out of one. He’s highly motivated, man he is playing very well for us.”
Even without Etienne no longer on the roster, Clemson still has a very talented, and very deep stable of backs. During the Tigers first big scrimmage of the spring on Wednesday, Swinney said they all did some good things.
“Chez had a great day today,” Swinney said. This is his first day to really scrimmage, and I thought he really bounced back. He missed a few practices, Dukes missed a few practices, both of them had gotten hurt, missing practices, now they’re back, and Dukes did some things.”
“But it’s just a really competitive group. It’s one of the most competitive spots on our team. Kobe has been outstanding and Rencher, we don’t ever talk about Rencher but every time we put him in there he does his job, makes plays and we were confident in him and know we could depend on him if we need to. And then those two young guys are just special. I mean they really are.”
With so much talent at the position, Swinney said the battle for playing time should continue throughout the spring and well into the fall. Something he says will benefit all involved.
“That one’s gonna go a while,” Swinney said. “That’s gonna be an incredibly competitive position and it’s gonna make us better. It’s gonna make all them better, it’s gonna make us better.”