2014 Forecast: Gallman, Davidson are Clemson's wild cards in run game

Clemson running back Wayne Gallman (9) carries the ball during the spring game at Clemson's Memorial Stadium on Saturday.

Clemson running back Wayne Gallman (9) carries the ball during the spring game at Clemson's Memorial Stadium on Saturday.

The expectations are certainly there for redshirt freshman Wayne Gallman – nationally, as one of two on the Clemson offense to make Phil Steele’s All-ACC, and among the Tiger faithful, buzzing on social media and message boards this offseason.

Standing 6-1 205, Gallman was the one in a trio of Grayson (Ga.) commits to stick – rated as high as a four-star prospect. In his final two campaigns as a Ram, he rushed for over 1,200 yards with 16 scores, posting 46 tackles and seven sacks as a linebacker his senior season.

If Gallman is to lead a bunched-up backfield, he will join some pretty good company.

No Tiger freshman – true or redshirt – has topped 400 rushing yards since James Davis (2005 – 879 yards/9 TD) and C.J. Spiller (2006 – 938 yards/10 TD) did in back-to-back seasons.

So far in Chad Morris’ scheme, the best season for freshman contributors was his first (2011).

Five-star Mike Bellamy averaged six yards per carry, totaling 343 yards and three touchdowns before serving a two-game suspension to the finish. Redshirt frosh D.J. Howard posted his career-best YPC (5.6), accumulating 230 yards with one touchdown.

In 2012, four-star Zac Brooks didn’t fare as well, averaging 4.6 YPC with 119 yards.

And in 2013, Gallman was one of two redshirts, bringing us to the bottomline.

Gallman looks the part. He reeled off a few impressive runs in the spring game and should play as much as any freshman since Spiller and Davis.

His projection really depends on if you think he takes over as the primary ballcarrier…and runs away with it. I, personally, have his predecessors Brooks and Howard saying something about that. Gallman puts together an impressive debut, setting the table to lead the way in 2015

Wayne Gallman projection

Brandon Rink – OrangeandWhite.com

Breakout Season (12 games): 130 carries – 750 yards – 9 TDs

Bust: 20 carries – 99 yards – 2 TDs

2014 Outlook: 73 carries – 387 yards – 5 TDs

Marty Coleman – SeldomUsedReserve.com

Breakout Season: 120 carries, 575 yards, 7 TDs

Bust: 30 carries, 130 yards, 1 TD

2014 Outlook: 77 carries, 354 yards, 5 TDs

Coleman Analysis: Wayne Gallman, he of 0 collegiate carries and snaps, leads the poll (on my site) on which back will lead Clemson in rushing in 2014...

There’s no Davis, Spiller, Ellington or even McDowell. This position is a huge question mark and I believe multiple players will get an opportunity to put their stamp on it, but it’s less of a crapshoot to project numbers when you have an established player with history. We’re not so lucky this year and this becomes almost like spinning the wheel on Wheel of Fortune and wondering what running back it will land on.

C.J. Davidson

Rink Analysis: If there’s another Clemson tailback harder to project than Gallman, it’s Daniel’s own C.J. Davidson, who’s worked his way from a Tiger track career to in the good graces of Dabo Swinney and co as a former walk-on.

Davidson averaged 4.6 yards per carry on 34 rushes. Among running backs, he had the second-most touchdown rushes (4). One of his bigger impacts came in the quick-pass motion out of the shotgun, where he averaged eight yards per on five receptions.

On the post-spring depth chart, Davidson is listed alongside Brooks and Gallman as second-team behind Howard.

In limited playing time, Davidson showcased more than the “track” speed, giving insight into why the coaching staff believing he’s here to stay in the RB mix.

That said, the carries will be as hard to come by as any recent Clemson season, leading to a more conservative projection. Davidson should have well over five catches as a weapon again in the passing game.

Brandon Rink – OrangeandWhite.com

Breakout Season (12 games): 111 carries – 611 yards – 8 TDs

Bust: 10 carries – 50 yards

2014 Outlook: 43 carries – 210 yards – 4 TDs

Marty Coleman – SeldomUsedReserve.com

Breakout Season: 120 carries, 552 yards, 9 TDs

Bust: 35 carries, 130 yards, 1 TD

2014 Outlook: 88 carries, 405 yards, 7 TDs

Coleman Analysis: Almost all of Davidson’s rushes (last season) were against teams that weren’t competitive against Clemson (33 of 34 attempts came against S.C. State, Wake, Syracuse and Virginia) in garbage time last season making it difficult to project how he will fare with more chances against better competition.

Still, I saw enough to think that this C.J. will get a shot in the rotation of backs come late August and early September.

It’s how he handles those chances that will define whether the number are high or low (or less likely, right on).

Check out more on position by position analysis on SeldomUsedReserve.com

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Comments » 6

TigerNE writes:

Gallman is the best shot we have right now at an up the middle in your eye RB. It's hard to imagine that he cannot be more effective than Howard or Brooks as long as he stays healthy. When the coaches call him "violent" I get images of injury along the way....

Davidson may be a solid standby given that so many of our backs have a bad history on staying healthy. You might expect a Howard/Brooks to be right behind Gallman in depth, but they have to stay healthy. And who knows right now with Dye. He could easily be #1 or #2 if he is fully recovered and stays that way.

But since Morris likes HUNH, there is no way any RB gets most of the carries. I expect us to become more balanced in run/pass and therefore expect to see a lot of RB#2, RB#3, etc. to not fatigue RB#1.

lhaselden writes:

I would like to see 200yds rushing a game, I think DJ Howard and Brooks can perform well when healthy. Gallman did look good in the spring game, but when we go to Athens... the RB has to be able to spot and pick up the blitz.... not sure if he is ready for that.

TigerNE writes:

in response to lhaselden:

I would like to see 200yds rushing a game, I think DJ Howard and Brooks can perform well when healthy. Gallman did look good in the spring game, but when we go to Athens... the RB has to be able to spot and pick up the blitz.... not sure if he is ready for that.

I'm guessing Morris has a similar 200 yard target and probably more. Where I expect to see the bigger difference is our red zone rushing effectiveness.

I also think that Gallman's red shirt year will help a lot at reads and detecting a blitz. Nothing replaces on the filed experience though.

fasttiger44#293363 writes:

While I really like Davidson and have never seen Gallman take a snap, I believe Gallman will ultimately be our guy. He has good size, speed and can get us that yard in the red zone we have had so much trouble getting lately. 225 lbs. would be better if he kept his speed but, 205 is a pretty good size. As the season progresses, we will all know soon enough who steps up and becomes our guy with the ball.

TigerNE writes:

Every article I read about our 2014 running game keeps forgetting to mention Curt Fleming as a possible contributor. I'm guilty too. While he's still a walk-on, there is no doubt in my mind he could be a guy that really helps up in red zone situations or 4th and short. He's the kind of guy who is willing to punish linemen and himself maybe a little to get that extra yard or to get the ball just across the marker or line.

RyRy writes:

in response to TigerNE:

Every article I read about our 2014 running game keeps forgetting to mention Curt Fleming as a possible contributor. I'm guilty too. While he's still a walk-on, there is no doubt in my mind he could be a guy that really helps up in red zone situations or 4th and short. He's the kind of guy who is willing to punish linemen and himself maybe a little to get that extra yard or to get the ball just across the marker or line.

I found a little video of him on youtube. I wasnt sure if it was him because its spelled with a K,until I read the comments that said Welcome to Clemson. He runs hard!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2T4Tk4...

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