Spring practice report: Ellington back on the field

by - Senior Writer -

AUDIO: Dabo Swinney post-practice comments

CLEMSON – The big news coming out of Clemson’s second practice of the spring on Monday was that running back Andre Ellington, who basically has been out since the Boston College game in late October, was back on the field for the Tigers.

Ellington tore a ligament and fractured a bone in the bottom of his foot in the game against the Eagles and sat out until the finale against South Carolina. However, he played just a few plays against the Gamecocks, missed the bowl game and had January surgery to repair the problem,

On Monday, he was allowed to run for the first time – albeit just in a straight line.

“At first, it was just getting it loose the first time running,” Ellington told reporters after the practice. “I felt a little worried, but after I got going it felt pretty good.”

Ellington won't participate with the team during spring drills, but instead will work on speed and agility drills.

“I’m going to sit out the spring,” Ellington said. “I’m just trying to get my feet moving, just get my speed built back up. I don’t think I’m going to be out there during the spring doing anything physical. It’s sore just all-around. There are still some things I have to work on, just strengthen it back up. After today, I feel real sore. I’m just going to go get a little ice on it and get it ready for tomorrow.”

Ellington said he will lift weights on Tuesday, and then try running again when the team practices in full pads on Wednesday.

“Other than the soreness, everything’s going up to scale,” he said. “Actually, it’s gone by pretty quick when I think about it. A couple of months ago I thought I had a long way to go. Now, it seems like it’s moving.”


Swinney said the voids left on defense were noticeable in the second practice.

“Defensively, what just jumps out at you are the guys that have played,” Swinney said. “There is a big gap right now. We have to teach them. They have to start somewhere. A lot of these guys haven’t played. They just don’t have the experience.”

Swinney said that quarterback Tajh Boyd was impressive, and the only battle at quarterback will be between true freshmen Cole Stoudt and Tony McNeal as Boyd's backup.

The battle at left tackle is between Phillip Price and Brandon Thomas. At this point, Price is the leader.

“He is the guy,” Swinney said. “He is going to get first crack at it. He moves his feet really well. He came here as a tight end, and he has been a work in progress. He is a good athlete. He has more athleticism than any of those guys up front. He is long, he is a long-armed kid. He is a tough guy. We are going to see if he can put it all together.”

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