Gallman "eats" his way into Clemson record book


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Gallman breaks free for yards in the first quarter Saturday
Gallman breaks free for yards in the first quarter Saturday

WINSTON-SALEM, NC – Wayne Gallman faced the media with a to-go box of Zoe’s steak kabob in one hand and a box holding a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts in the other hand, and smiled when he was asked if Saturday night was about “eating.”

Gallman carried the ball 22 times for 161 yards and two touchdowns in Clemson’s 35-13 victory over Wake Forest Saturday night, and he set a few marks along the way. He surpassed 3,000 career rushing yards on a 42-yard touchdown run on Clemson’s opening drive, becoming the sixth runner in school history to reach 3,000 yards.

He also set a Clemson record by posting his 16th career 100-yard rushing effort. The previous mark of 15 had been held by Raymond Priester since 1997. Gallman now has 3,125 career rushing yards, putting him fifth in Clemson history. He passed Travis Zachery (1998-01) on the career list.

Gallman also matched his rushing touchdown total from 2015 with two more Saturday, giving him 13 on the season.

Running backs like to say they need to “eat” or carry the football multiple times in order to get in a groove, but Gallman hadn’t been eating well of late as the Clemson offense struggled to find its running game. Gallman and the entire offense ate against the Demon Deacons, running the ball 42 times for 254 yards.

Gallman was more than happy to eat.

“Yeah. That’s right,” Gallman said when asked if he was happy to finally be a force. “You all know that. “This week we went back to the basics and the line did what they needed to do. Those guys up front did their job. If they give me the room to run, I will do the rest. They didn't say it but I knew it was coming. When it's windy like that the ball goes each and every way and we ran the ball. They are the key to our offense and when they block you see good things happen.”

Center Jay Guillermo said he was happy to see Gallman get his yards.

“It makes me so happy for him. The guy works so hard day in and day out,” Guillermo said. “There’s never a day off for him. There’s not a better team player than Wayne Gallman. I’ll tell you what, if he’s not getting as many touches as people think he should be getting, you don’t hear a peep out of him. He’s never complained and he just goes to work. That’s why he’s got that record.

“We helped pave the way, but he does the running. All of the credit to him. Obviously, we’re proud because we were able to help him get there, but at the end of the day he’s the one running the football. He’s got great vision and he’s a power runner. He does a really good job.”

Gallman said he has yet to ask the coaches for more carries. At least not verbally.

“No, but I try to ask through my carries. I try to display it on the field and hopefully they will see that I am running hard,” Gallman said. “The coaches are going to do what they want to do, and I don't want to be demanding. I just want to be a player on the team and help the team win.”

Co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott said Gallman just keeps plugging away.

“He's meant a lot to me, first and foremost. The way he carries himself and the way he comes to work, very, very unselfish,” Elliott said. “Any guy in his position that comes off of a record breaking season and then not quite having the consistency they may have wanted in the run game throughout the season, he just keeps plugging away. He enjoys playing the game. He's a pleasure to coach. He's a guy that wants to learn and get better every single practice. I think he makes everybody better. For us, we wouldn't be in this position without Wayne Gallman. For him to have 16 100-yard games, that's a big accomplishment.”


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