The best kept secret in all of College Football wears No. 9 for Clemson football. The Wayne Train.
Are we witnessing the best, most prolific offensive backfield in the history of Clemson Football?
I bet you could Google a thousand articles on Deshaun Watson right now. Even though he’s graced the cover of Sports Illustrated, and recently ESPN the Magazine, I’ll go out on a limb and bet you that over half of College Football enthusiasts can’t tell you the name of Clemson’s starting running back.
Who, I might add, may turn out to be the best running back to ever tote the pig skin for the Tigers. That’s right, I’m talking about Wayne Gallman. Or, The Wayne Train as he’s been coined as of late.
Most Tiger fans point to a few names when thinking of the best running back in Tiger history. Terry Allen is a name that so easily rolls off the tongue.
Allen only played about two and a half years for the Tigers. Injuries hampered the end of his career, yet Allen, in a run heavy offense amassed a total of 2,778 rushing yards, 28 touchdowns and averaged 5.3 yards a carry for his career. CJ Spiller is another running back that Tiger fans hold near and dear.
More of a multi-purpose back, Spiller gathered up some ridiculous numbers. For instance, he averaged 6.8 yards a touch from the line of scrimmage. Rushing alone, Spiller ended his Clemson career with 3,547 yards rushing with 32 touchdowns.
Still, a 5.9 yards per carry average is best in Clemson history. Who can forget James Davis. The Atlanta native is 2nd all-time on Clemson’s rushing list with 3,881 yards. He scored 47 rushing touchdowns and averages 5.2 yards a carry. Impressive to say the least. And then there’s the grand-daddy of all Clemson running backs. Raymond Priester, who, through four years of toting the rock piled up a school record 3,966 yards.
And, until this past season was the single season record holder as well with 1,345 yards. That is, until The Wayne Train broke that record by scratching and clawing to a 2015 total of 1,514 yards, accompanied by 13 touchdowns.
It’s not completely out of the realm of possibility that Gallman could break the all time school record for rushing yards this year. He’ll need a monster year, even bigger than last years single season, record-breaking performance. Gallman needs 1,684 yards to become Clemson’s all-time
leading rusher. Should he do that, he’ll cement himself in Tiger history forever. And unlike his counterparts mentioned above. Gallman would own the record in just three seasons.
Everyone else, played all four years, with the exception of Allen. The rushing touchdown record is out of reach. There’s just too many mouths to feed on the Clemson offense these days.
James Davis collected a school record 47 touchdown runs in his career. Gallman would need 31 rushing touchdowns this season to break that, and while I’m all for that happening. Don’t bet the house on it.
So, why is it that nobody is talking about Wayne Gallman in the same breaths with Dalvin Cook of Florida State, or the other big name backs in the country? They’re not talking, because he doesn’t really talk.
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The silent monster keeps churning out the yards and while the spotlight shines brighter on others, you just know that Gallman is one of the best kept secrets in Clemson Football history.
"“He’s not underappreciated from us, that’s for sure,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. “He’s relentless, and he’s just a joy to coach.”"
Gallman, a 3-star running back out of Grayson High School in Loganville, Georgia was good friends with Robert Nkemdiche, the nation’s number one player coming out of high school. The mass media suspected that the offer given to Gallman was some icing on the cake to try to lure Nkemdiche to Clemson.
We all know how that unfolded. Nkemdiche goes to Ole Miss, has disciplinary issues throughout his career there, and Clemson gets, maybe the most under-rated, maybe the most prolific running back in school history. In my opinion, in hindsight, I’ll take that trade all day every day.
The Wayne Train is fun to watch. He will run over you, through you and run right by you. He’s the perfect complement to Coach Swinney’s system. He’s the perfect personality for this program and he’s well on his way to stepping in the front of the line, a long prestigious line, of Clemson running backs. All aboard The Wayne Train.