Clemson coaches say they've found new Thunder & Lightning with Bowman and Pryor
|Thursday, December 19, 2019, 11:22 AM- -|
Former Clemson running backs James Davis and C.J. Spiller formed the Tigers’ iconic duo that earned the nickname Thunder & Lightning over a decade ago. Davis, out of Georgia, was the Thunder part of the equation while Spiller, a Florida native, was the Lightning part.
Wednesday’s early signing period brought in two running backs who Swinney believes can be the next dynamic duo. Running back Demarkcus Bowman hails from Lakeland, Florida, and would be the new Lightning, while Kobe Pryor (Cedartown, GA) would be the new Thunder.
Bowman is a unanimous five-star prospect who rushed for 5,081 yards in three years at Lakeland High School. He averaged an incredible 11.4 yards per rush and scored 71 touchdowns during his career. He also posted 26 games with at least 100 yards in his career and averaged 145 yards rushing in his 35 career games.
“Recruiting a young man like Demarkcus is a team effort. To go into the state of Florida, and to get a talent like this and the number one player in the state and the best running back in the country is huge,” Elliott said of Bowman. “So, shout out to coach Will Baylor, his high school coach that helped us a lot. But what I'll say about Demarckus is he knew early on what he wanted.
“He wanted to come to Clemson, so he came to camp as a sophomore. And just like a key part, you know, I challenged him to make sure that he did everything he needed to do to be able to earn that opportunity and once he committed he's been solid. It’s very, very, difficult to get a guy from Lakeland. You have to understand that's Florida country, they've had a lot of great players go to the University of Florida, but he held strong, he was completely committed and never wavered and we are excited about his future.”
Swinney said it was time for the Tigers to finally land a Lakeland prospect.
“Yeah, we were oh-for-Lakeland, but we kept getting in the batter's box and, and just kept doing things the Clemson way and I will tell you, this is, this is as good a player as they ever had come out of that program and really the state of Florida,” Swinney said. “He is a special player and a great young man. You're gonna love this guy.”
Pryor is a powerful runner who had strong senior season with 1,471 yards rushing in 211 carries for a 7.0-yard average. Pryor added 25 receptions for 358 yards for 1,829 total yards from scrimmage.
“What I would say here is we have Thunder. We just talked about Lightning,” Swinney said. “Think about double Thunder right here. This guy is a powerful, relentless runner, and he is going to be an unbelievable duo right here with Demarkcus. Kobe Pryor is a man's man.”
Elliott loves the fact that the Tigers took a great player out of Georgia Bulldog country.
“When you go into Cedartown, that's Bulldog country, that is the home of Nick Chubb,” Elliott said. “And what I like about this young man is he's so humble. He is such a hard worker. And if you notice, the last couple of guys that we've had in the running back room have come out of a little small country towns. He just has an edge to him, and I think he's a great complement to Demarkcus. You have Thunder and you got Lightning, but this guy is very very elusive as well for a big guy. He catches the ball well out of the backfield and played some quarterback. So, I think that you guys are gonna be excited about Kobe Pryor.”