Clemson RB Gallman says hit by NC State's Wright was 'dirty'
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) Clemson running back Wayne Gallman said Monday that the hit by North Carolina State defensive back Dravious Wright that knocked him out of the game on Oct. 15 was ''dirty'' and he wanted a teammate to retaliate.
Gallman said after he watched a replay of the hit that he had hoped his teammates would have hurt Wright. Gallman went through concussion protocol during the team's bye week and expects to practice Monday and to play Saturday when the third-ranked Tigers take on No. 12 Florida State.
''I wanted somebody to hurt him that was in the game if they could,'' Gallman said. ''I wasn't able to be in it.''
Gallman did not remember anything after Wright's first-quarter hit until he was in the trainer's room several minutes later. When he saw a replay, Gallman was certain the Wolfpack defensive back's hit - which looked like a helmet-to-helmet blow although no penalty was assessed - was intentional.
''You saw him lead with his head,'' Gallman said of Wright. ''He came with his head.''
Running backs coach Tony Elliott said Monday the hit on Gallman was difficult to judge at full speed and only after viewing it slowed down ''you see there may be opportunity for a penalty.
''But in live speed, everything happens fast, you see two guys with a tough collision like that, I understand that it's always going to be questioned,'' Eilliott continued.
Gallman said Clemson sent video of the hit to the ACC offices and the school was told the hit was legal. Messages left for the ACC about the play by The Associated Press were not immediately returned.
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney did not respond to a request for comment about Gallman's call for retaliation, saying through a spokesman he would be available for comment at his regularly scheduled availability Tuesday.
The third-ranked Tigers (7-0, 4-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) visit the Seminoles (5-2, 2-2) in an ACC showdown. Swinney said last Wednesday he expected Gallman to face Florida State.
Gallman's absence against the Wolfpack was apparent. The Tigers finished with 117 yards rushing, their lowest total this season in a 24-17 overtime victory .
Gallman said he felt like himself this week after missing workouts to recover from the concussion. He had never gone through that before in his football career, but is confident about his status for Saturday.
''As far as Florida State, I'm playing,'' he said.
Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher also expects Gallman to play. When Gallman is playing well, combined with quarterback Deshaun Watson's leadership, Fisher said it makes Clemson's offense hard to stop.
''It makes a big difference, it really does,'' Fisher said Monday.
Gallman said he went through some drills with his helmet and trainers watching to see if the effort caused headaches or led to other ill effects.
''I passed everything,'' Gallman said.
The incident remains fuzzy for Gallman, who remembers catching the ball from quarterback Deshaun Watson, then making a move forward.
''After that, I don't remember anything at all until I went to the training room,'' he said. ''It's like I went to sleep and woke up in the training room. I saw video of myself walking off (the field) and I don't remember that.''
Still, Gallman tried to talk his way back into the North Carolina State game after returning from the locker room.
''Basically, we had to take the helmet away from him at the North Carolina State game'' to keep Gallman on the sidelines, running backs coach and co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott said.
Gallman is listed as the team's starting tailback on its depth chart for Florida State.
Elliott expects Gallman, who set the school's single-season rushing mark with 1,527 yards last season, in the lineup for the Seminoles. However Elliott has a backup plan if Gallman can't play - C.J. Fuller, a sophomore, would move into the starting spot in Gallman's absence.
Fuller was Clemson's leading rusher against the Wolfpack with 56 yards on 16 carries.
Elliott is taking a cautious approach with Gallman's condition.
''We're excited about the possibility of having (Gallman) back,'' Elliott said. ''But we won't know the determination until we get the full go-ahead later in the week.''
Gallman said it was difficult standing on the sidelines the rest of the game and at last week's practices.
''It hurt real bad. I hate doing that. I hate not being able to practice,'' Gallman said. ''I hate not being able to play. It hurt just standing on the sideline at N.C. State because I told coach Swinney I was fine, I could go back in, but they told me no. So, it's hard, man. I hate having to do that, but I'm glad to be able to practice this week.''
AP Sportswriter Joseph Reedy contributed to this report from Tallahassee, Florida.
AP college football: www.collegefootball.ap.org