Travis Etienne is off to the NFL after a wildly successful four-year stint at Clemson. In 55 career games, the star running back produced 6,107 total yards (4,952 rushing, 1,155 receiving) and 78 touchdowns. He’s a true three-down running back who will be missed on Saturdays.
Now Dabo Swinney and the rest of the coaching staff are trying to find a reliable, adequate replacement for the homerun hitter. There are plenty of options, but the depth on the roster continues to take hits.
First, former five-star prospect and the No. 3 running back from the 2020 class Demarkcus Bowman chose to leave for Florida after just one season with the Tigers.
On Monday, junior RB Chez Mellusi became the latest to enter the portal to try and explore his options. Grace Raynor, who covers Clemson for The Athletic, confirmed the news via Twitter.
Can confirm Clemson RB Chez Mellusi is in the transfer portal. It’s a crowded position, but I’m surprised by this one. He and Kobe Pace were expected to compete with Lyn-J Dixon for first-string reps. Was the second-leading returning rusher behind Dixon. Averaged 5.6 YPC in 2020.
— Grace Raynor (@gmraynor) April 26, 2021
As Raynor points out, it is a crowded position. Many expect Lyn-J Dixon, who has rushed for 1,372 yards and 13 touchdowns in three seasons, to be a major factor. Plus Kobe Pace and even five-star true freshman Will Shipley could also contribute.
It isn’t like Clemson is going to struggle finding a suitable ball carrier, but it is an interesting move by Mellusi. Between Etienne, Bowman and now Mellusi, there continues to be a lot of RB turnover for the Tigers.
Mellusi was rated a four-star prospect coming out of Naples High School down in Florida. He was the No. 241 overall prospect and No. 14 running back. Stay tuned for where he might finish his college career.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.