Swinney says Tigers' QBs, RBs plenty capable of running the ball at a high level

'I think we'll be better than we were last year - a lot better - running the football'

Clemson quarterback Cole Stoudt (18) hands the ball off to running back Wayne Gallman (9) during the first day of Spring practice on Wednesday.

Photo by Sefton Ipock

Clemson quarterback Cole Stoudt (18) hands the ball off to running back Wayne Gallman (9) during the first day of Spring practice on Wednesday.

If Dabo Swinney didn't think Cole Stoudt, Chad Kelly and Deshaun Watson could run the football, they most likely wouldn't be at Clemson.

He and offensive coordinator Chad Morris want a better, more multi-faceted rushing game next fall, and they believe they have the personnel to do it, both at the quarterback and running back positions.

"I think all these guys can run the ball," Swinney said this week. "We're not going to do anything different, whether it be Chad or Cole or Deshaun. They all can run and they all understand our system. We're going to do what we do, and we're built to do what we do.

"And I'm not worried at all about our running back position. We're going to be outstanding at running back."

Swinney said the Tigers have plenty of backs to engage in healthy competition this spring and summer.

"We've got a couple of guys, D.J. (Howard) and Zac (Brooks) who've battled through some injuries," he said. "We're going to get Tyshon Dye back (for the 2014 season), and Wayne Gallman's going to be a great player. We just signed Adam Choice. He's going to be a great player.

"We're in great shape at that position. We've just got some young guys who are going to have to help us."

Swinney said two of the Tigers' best ball carriers have flown under the radar.

"C.J. Davidson is a guy who nobody talks about, but when it's all said and done, C.J. is going to leave his mark here at Clemson," Swinney said. "It's the same thing with Zac Brooks. Nobody says much about Zac. But he's not just a guy, he's a special talent. He got a little bit of experience as a freshman, and I wish now we could have redshirted him, and was on his way to having a great season (last fall) and just had some tough injuries. He had surgery after the season, and hopefully he'll be able to stay on the field.

"D.J. is another guy who've had some moments for us."

Swinney said walk-on Kurt Fleming, a power back who is coming back to football after having played three seasons as an outfielder in the Atlanta Braves organization, "is a wild card."

"I'm anxious to see him," said Swinney. "He's a 235-pound brick house. He hasn't played football in four years, so we'll see where he is."

By the time the Tigers play next fall, Swinney believes his running game will be "better than fine."

"I think we'll be better than we were last year - a lot better - running the football," he said. "I'm excited about the guys we have there. We've got young guys who are going to have to play, but that's OK. That's fine.

"We've got a bunch of guys who are capable of playing at a high level for us."

Follow Kerry Capps on Twitter @oandwkc

© 2014 OrangeAndWhite.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Comments » 4

Xander5000 writes:

**Qb's and Rb's plenty capable of running the ball at a high level**...........
That I believe. The thing I'm concerned about is the offensive line's capabilities to continue to create holes and get that push up front, at a high level for our Qb's and Rb's consistently.

CharlestonTiger writes:

in response to Xander5000:

**Qb's and Rb's plenty capable of running the ball at a high level**...........
That I believe. The thing I'm concerned about is the offensive line's capabilities to continue to create holes and get that push up front, at a high level for our Qb's and Rb's consistently.

I could not agree more. With the two best offensive lineman gone from last year and not much coming along to step in, it could be a long year running the ball and in pass protection.

clemvol writes:

I agree that all the Quarterbacks, running backs are capable of running the ball at a high level.......... in practice. Can it be done in a game? Don't tell us it can be done, show us. Time will tell.

mrdoug1944#284617 writes:

The super stars are gone. Think most fans will be surprised at the play of this team. Think they will play way beyond of what is expected of them. Really looking forward to the upcoming season.

Share your thoughts

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Click here for our full user agreement.

Comments can be shared on Facebook and Yahoo!. Add both options by connecting your profiles.

Features