The Clemson football team has one of the deepest running back rooms in the nation. Here’s how each factors into the depth chart.
The Clemson football team enters the 2020 season with one of the deepest and most talented running back rooms in the nation.
The Tigers received huge news a couple of months ago when RB Travis Etienne announced that he’d be returning for his senior season instead of entering the 2020 NFL Draft.
With Etienne returning, as well as a group of talented backs, the Tigers have to find a way to get each on the field and keep all of the guys engaged. Here’s how each running back factors into the depth chart for Clemson football.
Obviously, Etienne is going to be the starter in 2020. Look for him to get around the same number of carries as he got in 2019 and 2018. The Tigers will use him as a feature back, but will keep him fresh, especially with the amount of depth at the position.
Though Lyn-J Dixon will remain the second-stringer, his role is going to be amplified. Look for Clemson to use Dixon out of the backfield as a receiver and to give him his fair share of carries. The Tigers will platoon between Etienne and Dixon for the bulk of the carries and, if he has the hot hand, they’ll continue to find ways to get him the ball.
Darien Rencher is another veteran returning. Rencher earned playing time in every game this past season and he’ll continue to see the field at times. Behind Dixon and Etienne, he’ll split time with the younger backs and will certainly be relied upon to be a leader off the field.
I could see a situation where Chez Mellusi gets around 3-6 carries per game and then becomes one of the feature backs in the second half when the Tigers are in firm control. Mellusi has great explosiveness and athleticism to be a great running back and we’re going to see more of that this season.
Michel Dukes has great speed and athleticism. Though he’ll have to contend on the depth chart, Clemson will still get him into a lot of games. Look for Dukes to get a lot of experience in the fourth quarter of games this season and for him to have a chance to emerge as a feature back on next year’s team.
In addition to the veterans listed above, Clemson football also has two running backs- 5-star RB Demarkcus Bowman and 4-star RB Kobe Pryor- who will join the team later this summer.