Feaster looking for an increased role in the offense
|Sunday, September 18, 2016, 1:01 PM- -|
CLEMSON – Tavien Feaster is hoping for a bigger role in Clemson’s offense, and if Saturday’s efforts were any indication he’s almost ready.
The freshman standout out of Spartanburg rushed 12 times for a game-high 83 yards and a touchdown during his first extended collegiate action in Saturday's 59-0 win against South Carolina State. Clemson fans – and coaches – have to like what they see in the future for Feaster, who has the speed and size to become an elite back.
With the Tigers taking on an outmanned South Carolina St. team, Feaster knew he would get his first real chance on Saturday and he wanted to take advantage of the opportunity.
“Even though I got a kick return last week I didn't get a good feel for the game. Once I got to this week I knew that once I got the call I would be ready,” Feaster said after the game. “When I finally got into the game, every time I got the ball it was go time. I knew I had an All-American (Wayne Gallman) in front of me. He is like a big brother, and he's been telling me to be patient and I took that advice. I've been patient so far and it's worked out for me.”
Head coach Dabo Swinney likes what he saw out of Feaster.
“We’ve been wanting to get him in and just have some really good depth (at running back),” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. “It was good to be able to get him in the rhythm of the game and you guys saw what he could do. He’s going to be a great player and I think that was just huge for his confidence. He’s a guy over the course of the season who will get some opportunities and has a bright future.”
Feaster scored his first collegiate touchdown on a four-yard run with 6:29 left to play in the third quarter, and he said he hope it’s just the first of many.
“It was great. I was processing it and I thought, 'Man, this feels great.' And then Christian Wilkins came over there and started hitting me in the head and telling me I had done a good job,” Feaster said. “I knew it was real then. That was bigger than any high school touchdown to me, just scoring my first collegiate touchdown. I feel like there are going to be plenty more.”
When the next opportunity presents itself, Feaster feels like he will be ready.
“This is definitely a confidence booster. I knew once we got a lead on those guys I was going to go in and they wanted to see what I can do,” he said. “I was preparing myself and told myself I had to be the best Tavien Feaster I can be. This was a big opportunity to showcase what I have and what I can bring to this team. I bring speed, I can catch the ball, I have great vision and I'm going to give everything I can every time I am on the field.”
Will Saturday’s performance lead to an increased role going forward?
“Possibly. But that's earned. The coaches will go through the process and see if I'm ready for that. If they feel like I am then I am going to embrace it,” Feaster said. “I felt like I hit it. I also felt like I left a couple of runs on the table. I feel like I can get better out there and I feel like there are things I can do better.
“I feel like I showed the coaches what I bring to the table and what I can do. Hopefully, they will give me a bigger role.”