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2016 Clemson Football Running Back Participation

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NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Clemson vs Alabama Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

As is tradition at STS, we are once again taking a look at the participation numbers for each player at Clemson during the 2016 season. While number of games played is a nice top level number, looking at snap counts provides a much better idea of how much experience a player is getting. It is also a good way of determining if a player should have redshirted or not. Ideally, a player should get at least 100 snaps in a season as a freshman, otherwise a redshirt would have been a better idea barring issues with depth. Also note that all snap counts are through the Ohio State game; totals for the Alabama game have not been published by Clemson.

There is no way around it: Wayne Gallman is leaving a big hole in Clemson’s RB corps. After the 2015 season, Clemson didn’t have to worry too much about the running game with Gallman returning. His experience and ability to pass protect meant Clemson would be in good shape for the 2016 season. 2017 will be a different story.

RB Snaps

Player Position Year Auburn Troy SC State Georgia Tech Louisville Boston College NC State FSU Syracuse Pittsburgh Wake Forest South Carolina Virginia Tech Ohio State Totals
Player Position Year Auburn Troy SC State Georgia Tech Louisville Boston College NC State FSU Syracuse Pittsburgh Wake Forest South Carolina Virginia Tech Ohio State Totals
Wayne Gallman RB R Junior 70 46 15 68 59 30 6 79 19 85 48 44 62 64 695
C.J. Fuller RB R Sophomore 0 10 13 0 0 11 60 0 14 9 10 18 12 10 167
Adam Choice RB R Sophomore 5 15 16 14 5 10 17 0 18 0 6 9 0 5 120
Tavien Feaster RB Freshman 0 0 24 0 0 4 0 0 24 0 8 8 0 4 72
Tyshon Dye RB R Junior 2 13 10 0 0 5 6 0 7 0 0 10 0 0 53

This time last year, many of us were hopeful about Tavien Feaster. The SC native had the speed that Clemson has been missing at RB for several seasons. Unfortunately, Feaster didn’t quite work out in 2016. The freshman only earned 72 snaps this year. Normally that would be a cause for a concern and we’d question why he wasn’t given a redshirt, but look at the list of RBs for Clemson and it’s easy to see why. Feaster provided a different dynamic for Clemson and it was good to get him the in-game experience. With Gallman leaving this year, it was probably a wise decision to not redshirt Feaster.

A lot of fans were disappointed that Feaster didn’t get more opportunities to showcase his unique talents, but that isn’t surprising for a freshman. Last year C.J. Fuller got 8% of all snaps as a redshirt freshman. That was with a year of experience in the system even though Fuller isn’t as talented of a runner as Feaster will likely be. I’m rambling a bit, but the point is that Feaster’s workload is in line with previous seasons.

RB Snaps

As for the rest of the RBs, not a whole lot to say here. Clemson will return 32% of the snaps from 2016, and that split is between a few guys that don’t inspire confidence and a freshman that fans are pinning their hopes on. But as always it is important to remember that pass blocking is extremely important in determining playing time. That is often why freshman don’t see a lot of time for Clemson in the RB position.