Spring Report Card: Running Backs
Coming into the spring, depth at running back appeared to be in very good shape. Reggie Merriweather was the clear number one, and you had dependable back ups in Duane Coleman and Kyle Browning. Coleman's suspension left a dark cloud over what could have been a very positive spring at running back.
Coleman has the best hands coming out of the backfield, and he would have been put to good use under offensive coordinator Rob Spence. Now Coleman's future is very much in doubt, and if does return in the fall, he will be behind from missing valuable time in the spring.
Merriweather had a very solid spring. Once again, he showcased his great leg drive in the Orange and White game. Merriweather drew praise from running backs coach Burton Burns in the offseaon for his dedication in the weight room. This could be the first season, Clemson has had a true feature back since Raymond Priester. The main area Merriweather needs to improve is catching the ball out of the backfield.
Kyle Browning is now the number two running back on the depth chart. He did an admirable job filling in for Coleman. The fifth year senior always gives great effort and plays until the whistle. In the spring, he reminded coaches that he can be counted on. Once again, Browning may not be spectacular, but he is not going to make mistakes.
Walk-on Paul Macko showed some tough inside running, especially in the Orange and White game. Macko most likely will not see the field in the fall, but he did earn the respect of a lot of Clemson fans that were in attendance.
If Coleman does not return, expect incoming freshmen James Davis and Demerick Chancellor to get a shot at more reps. Davis will not redshirt regardles, but he could see more playing time than was originally forecasted. Coleman's suspension hurt the overall grade of the running backs.