Clemson Football: Looking ahead at the 2024 running back room after Will Shipley's departure

With Will Shipley's entry into the NFL Draft, Phil Mafah becomes the feature back for Clemson in 2024, but the Tigers rarely use one rusher exclusively. Here are the options to find playing time behind Mafah next season.

Clemson running back Jay Hayes (26) runs against Kentucky during the fourth quarter of the TaxSlayer Bowl
Clemson running back Jay Hayes (26) runs against Kentucky during the fourth quarter of the TaxSlayer Bowl / Ken Ruinard / staff / USA TODAY NETWORK
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Jay Haynes

Jay Haynes was a member of the Class of 2023. He was a 3-star prospect from Handley High School in Roanoke, Alabama.

Haynes played in three games for Clemson in 2023 and only had six carries. He also had 35 yards and an 11.7 yards per-rush average. He scored one rushing touchdown. Additionally, he snagged two receptions for twenty yards and one receiving touchdown.

He might not have gotten many snaps, but it is what he did with the snaps he got that has some Tiger fans eager to see him on the field more.

Haynes has dealt with injuries this past season, which is one of the reasons he didn’t see much playing time despite flashing impressive speed and agility. He also had four other backs ahead of him on the depth chart: Shipley, Mafah, Domonique Thomas, and Adams. He will be a redshirt freshman in 2024.

It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Haynes ‘officially’ move ahead of Adams on the depth chart, especially if Adams evolves into a short-yardage fullback type of player for the Tigers. Haynes's ability to catch the ball out of the backfield will also open more options for Garrett Riley’s dirt raid offense.

Haynes wasn't the only running back taken by the Tigers in the Class of 2023. Jarvis Green will be compteting for playing time at running back as well as special teams.