It is often said that patience is a virtue. In sports, patience also means taking advantage of what your role can provide and what you choose to make out of it. For us, Adam Choice is the epitome of what it means to trust the process and making the most of what you’re given despite the circumstances.
A highly recruited four-star running back out of Thomasville, Georgia, Choice fielded offers from top programs like Georgia, Texas, Auburn, and Florida. Choosing to attend Clemson over offers from such lucrative football programs, Choice found himself getting extended action by the fourth week of the season against a Louisville team as then-freshman quarterback Deshaun Watson exited the game with a hand injury. Choice looked to maintain a hold on the starting position moving forward, but suffered a torn ACL the next week against Boston College, which forced then-redshirt freshman Wayne Gallman into the starting role as he was out for the season.
From there, Choice redshirted his second season to get back to 100% and put some distance between his eligibility and Wayne Gallman’s. Coming off of a 2015 redshirt year and Clemson boasting a trusted backup in CJ Fuller and a highly touted Tavien Feaster behind a workhorse in Gallman, Choice saw limited opportunities in 2016, only posting 158 rushing yards. At this point, Choice had an opportunity to transfer. No one would blame him. Feaster was looking like the guy, and Fuller had the edge for more carries heading into 2017. But Choice stuck it out, continuing to get his legs back from his injury little by little and carving out a role as niche change of pace back and a reliable force in pass protection.
In 2017, Choice gained more opportunities as he created separation from Fuller while Clemson split time between he, Feaster, and Travis Etienne. While topping 326 yards on 67 carries (4.86 yards per carry), he also found the endzone six times. It was here that Choice would carve out a role as a solid backup and endzone threat. The same was true in 2018 as Choice carried the ball 77 times for 548 yards (7.11 yards per carry) and seven touchdowns. Perhaps one of Choice’s best moments from the season was against the Louisville Cardinals, where he displayed a tough 30-yard run as he bounced off Cardinals defenders who could not take him down. It almost feels indicative of his style to keep going no matter how tough things got.
Choice’s role as a trusted backup can’t be underestimated. During the season, Etienne only eclipsed 20 carries twice (vs. Syracuse and South Carolina). This is a more important role than many give it credit for, as it was imperative for the coaching staff to keep Etienne fresh over the course of the season. Choice’s production and trust from the coaches allowed them to maintain a committee approach and keep Etienne from accumulating too much wear and tear.
When lined up in the backfield, Choice could either grind out yards to keep the offense moving or provide valuable pass protection, the latter of which he was the most proficient among Clemson’s running back corps.
While Choice won’t necessarily be the first guy everyone thinks of, he provided valuable leadership and depth for an offense that had to break in a young quarterback while energizing what would become one of the best rushing attacks in college football.
To Adam Choice, a big thanks from us and the rest of Clemson faithful as you continue the next phase of your career and life.