On his road to Tigers' backfield, Tyshon Dye going through the motions

Tony Elliott: 'He's earned everybody's respect on this football team and he didn't play one snap of football. That's impressive'

Clemson running back Tyshon Dye, a former Elberton High School standout, catches a ball during the first day of practice in Clemson.

Photo by Ken Ruinard

Clemson running back Tyshon Dye, a former Elberton High School standout, catches a ball during the first day of practice in Clemson.

Sneak a peak at Clemson's offensive backfield during practice this preseason and you might get a glimpse of Tyshon Dye going through the motions.

He wishes he could do more. He intends to do more. He wants more than anything, in fact, to have done more for the Tigers already.

Some believe that character is best built through adversity, and if so, when the former Elbert County, Georgia star finally gets on the field, he'll be a tower of strength.

Only a redshirt freshman, Dye's patience has already been tried by three major injuries - a broken foot that sidelined him midway through his senior season in high school, a back injury last August that eventually required surgery, and then a torn Achilles tendon suffered as he was working his way back into playing shape.

Tyshon Dye 'doing good'

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Before the last two injuries, Dye appeared destined to make an instant impact in the Clemson backfield, filling a need for a bigger, stronger, and still-fast running back.

"Tyshon would have played a bunch last year if he hadn't been hurt," said Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris. "There's no doubt. He gives us more power back there when he's healthy, so we're excited to see what he can do."

A tentative, but viable, date for Dye's return is mid-season.

"What I've heard is sometime in October," said running backs coach Tony Elliott. "He's right on schedule, if not ahead of schedule. With the severity of his back and then with the Achilles injury, you don't want to push him too hard, too fast and bring him back too soon, both from a physical standpoint and a mental health standpoint.

"I want him to be confident and ready to go, because playing this game and this position is all about confidence. So I think mid-season is realistic for him to be up to full speed."

The 5-11, 210-pound Dye arrived at Clemson having rushed for nearly 3,000 yards while averaging eight yards a carry at Elbert County, where he earned all-state honors as a junior. He was rated as high as the No. 12 running back in the nation in the 2013 signing class.

While dealing with bitter disappointment and challenging rehab, Dye has maintained a remarkably positive outlook, Elliott said.

"As a coach, he's a young man that you learn from, and I've told him that," said Elliott. "When I met with him in the spring, I told him, 'Tyshon, I'm so proud of you and the way you've handled this whole situation.' He's kept a positive attitude, and everybody likes being around him.

"He's earned everybody's respect on this football team and he didn't play one snap of football. That's impressive. So mentally he's handled it great - better than any of us expected. He's set an example for every guy in our room."

Elliott says Dye's drive and ambition are unparalleled.

"The young man is so driven to be successful," Elliott said. "If you understand where he's coming from, he's so passionate about being able to take care of his mom and his family. I don't think it matters what you throw at him."

Dye's motivation will put him on the practice field in August, well before he's able to return to action.

"We'll have some teach-periods that he'll be a part of," Elliott said. "Early-on, it's going to be more mental reps and non-contact. I'll also challenge him...to get out on the field with us. I got this from Priest Holmes when he was hurt at Kansas City. He took mental reps behind the team all practice.

"We may have a script for Tyshon so that when we're going, and everybody's working, he's standing behind the running back, lining up and taking his reps."

Once he's able, Elliott is certain Dye will hit the ground running.

"We have high expectations for him," Elliott said. "Once he's 100 percent, I have no doubt he'll make an impact."

Follow Kerry Capps on Twitter @oandwkc

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Comments » 5

TigerNE writes:

We need to make sure his recovery is handled perfectly. Gradually give him more possessions in late October into November as they think is right. But please make sure he is healthy for the last regular game. Having a Gallman Dye duo will be great for us against SCar.

Xander5000 writes:

A Dye, Gallman, Choice, and even a little Fleming would be great for the last game in November. Pound Pound Pound!

lhaselden writes:

I look forward to having 3 or 4 RBs healthy for every game! Do not count Howard, Brooks nor Davidson out of the rotation! I hope one of them can be a force as a KR!

Xander5000 writes:

Howard is really going to have to show me something. I've seen the flashes but I have concerns about his field vision that a productive running back should have. Brooks and Davidson just needs that seam and they can do what they do. Howard will have a seam but don't hit it right and will get stacked up..maybe it was because of injury...(not sure). Now wide open gaps,..... Howard can tear it up, but the smaller holes, he seems to have a problem with getting in there.

TheTruth46 writes:

in response to Xander5000:

A Dye, Gallman, Choice, and even a little Fleming would be great for the last game in November. Pound Pound Pound!

Same result as before. Pound...pound...pound...34-17...Gamecocks again.

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