News broke on Thursday afternoon that former 5-star running back recruit Demarkcus Bowman entered the transfer portal.
The true freshman is currently third on the team with 9 carries. He has 34 yards (3.6 YPC) off those carries.
According to David Hood at Tigernet, playing time wasn’t the issue. Instead distance from his home in Florida, particularly after the passing of his grandfather who lived in Atlanta and would have watched him play at Clemson. Bowman could still choose not to transfer and return to Clemson, assuming the staff allows it, but initial rumblings indicate the Florida Gators may be the favored destination.
Fortunately for Clemson, the immediate impact of his departure is likely minor. Travis Etienne is arguably the best running back in college football and has loads of depth behind him. Lyn-J Dixon wasn’t healthy to start the season and only has three carries, but is a strong second-string option. Darien Rencher is a former walk-on redshirt senior who has earned the coaches trust and provides reliable depth. Chez Mellusi and Mikey Dukes are true sophomores that haven’t had a lot of opportunities yet and freshman Kobe Pace is a power back that can contribute.
Any concerns about the departure are more long-term. Obviously seeing him become a superstar in the SEC will make it feel like a major loss. Despite that possibility, the Tigers still have a great deal of depth at running back. Many expected a transfer over the off season because there was just so many guys to share the carries with after Etienne announced his return.
Next year, Etienne will likely be in the NFL and Rencher may move on (technically he could play a sixth year if desired due to this year not counting against eligibility limits). That would still leave Clemson with Lyn-J Dixon, Chez Mellusi, Mikey Dukes, and Kobe Pace. That foursome will also be supplemented with five-star recruit Will Shipley and four-star Phil Mafah. That leaves Clemson with plenty of depth and upside at running back.
We wish the best to Demarkcus Bowman wherever he may choose to continue his college career.