Clemson football offered an in-state 2019 running back this past weekend. What does it mean for the Tigers moving forward at that position?
The Clemson football coaching staff extended an offer to 3-star in-state running back Michel Dukes this past weekend.
Dukes, who played his high school football at First Baptist in Charleston, has offers from South Carolina, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Oregon, Syracuse, North Carolina and Indiana.
The 3-star prospect rushed for more than 2,000 yards and 33 touchdowns during his senior season in SCISA football.
So, what does the offer mean for Clemson football?
There are several things we should take into account.
First of all, it’s clear that Dabo Swinney and his staff believe that Dukes has the talent and ability to play at the next level. They wouldn’t just offer a guy to make an offer. They think that Dukes has the ability to play.
For them to be offering him this late in the process, though, tells me that they’re wanting some security as far as numbers are concerned at the running back position.
Right now, the Tigers have five running backs on scholarship:
- Travis Etienne (junior)
- Lyn-J Dixon (sophomore)
- Tavien Feaster (senior)*
- Darien Rencher (redshirt junior)
- Chez Mellusi (incoming freshman)
Keep in mind that the coaches like to have five scholarship running backs.
Rencher’s scholarship will have to renewed. He received a full scholarship last fall before the 2018 season began.
We know for sure that Etienne, Dixon and Mellusi should all be on the roster come this fall, but Feaster is up in the air.
Feaster said he is considering transferring out of the program and playing his senior season somewhere else. He could potentially grad-transfer if he could finish up his degree at Clemson, so all of that is up in the air.
The Tigers were heavily recruiting 4-star RB Jerrion Ealy in the 2019 class, as well. While it seems that Ealy is favoring Clemson, the problem is that he is a two-sport athlete. Ealy could be a high-round draft pick in the upcoming MLB Draft and could potentially choose baseball instead of ever playing football.
With the uncertainty surrounding both Feaster and Ealy, I think the coaching staff decided to extend an offer to Dukes with the thought of him possibly coming and filling out one of those spots.
None of it is for sure yet, but it’s clear that the coaches are thinking that they’ll need to fill a scholarship and that makes me think either Feaster is planning to transfer or Ealy isn’t coming. Perhaps neither is true, but that’s what I would think at this point for the Tigers.