On Monday, April 26th, TigerNet reported that Clemson running back Chez Mellusi had entered the transfer portal. What does that mean for Clemson?
Firstly, it may mean that what we saw in the Spring Game - Kobe Pace and Phil Mafah leading their respective teams in rushing attempts and yards - is an early indication of how the depth chart is evolving. While Lyn-J Dixon, the elder statesman who has paid his dues and been successful aside from a weird 2020 season, is still presumably option 1A, perhaps Pace and Mafah have made their claim for a significant share of the workload.
Clemson’s depth at running back is fine. They were somewhat overloaded at the position, unlike other positions like quarterback and cornerback where they do not have much depth. The aforementioned Dixon, Pace, and Mafah give the Tigers a good trio, but five-star freshman Will Shipley, Mikey Dukes, and super senior Darien Rencher are also in the mix and ensure that Clemson has plenty of viable options.
Clemson deserves praise for not over-signing high school recruits and spurning them at the end of the process. Unfortunately, doing the right thing comes with a price sometimes. As QuackingTiger explains, Clemson could find themselves several spots below the 85 scholarship limit.
If Bubba Chandler or Will Taylor go in the MLB draft(& both are getting good reviews from scouts, ESPN has both in the top 50 w/Taylor 19 overall) that will sting. It would give Clem almost zero QB depth & Clem would be below 80 in total scholarships(on probation w/out probation)— QT (@QuackingTiger) April 19, 2021
Overall, losing Mellusi gives us some clarity as to what we’ll see from the running back position next year while sapping from what was an overloaded running backs room. It’s unfortunate that Clemson may be playing short on scholarships used, but this particular loss shouldn’t hurt the Tigers. We wish Mellusi well and hope he can find a home somewhere he can shine.