Clemson sophomore tailback Kobe Pace has risen towards the top of the depth chart in one offseason's time and wants to follow in the legendary Tigers' footsteps after watching the work ethic of the ACC's all-time leading rusher.
"Knowing (Travis) Etienne is gone, I'm just trying to work my way, fight every day, and compete with all the guys that's in the room. Just go day by day while motivating each other just to keep grinding," Pace said. "I mean (last year), it was a big deal for me; being behind Travis helped me a lot to learn. (It) helped me see what he was doing on the field. So I think it gave me good motivation. Just follow his footsteps and learn after him."
Pace saw a mere 19 carries for 75 yards in Etienne's final season, but the time spent shadowing has paid off in a short window. Lyn-J Dixon's competition for running back has been fierce, following Pace's top rusher (69 yards) honors in the spring game. The sophomore finished with 31 yards more than the next highest carrier and has moved his momentum into fall, taking first-team reps often.
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Growing as a player every practice, it's evident football is slowing down for Pace in the same light he said the game did every snap, practice, or in-game for Etienne.
"(Etienne) was good at just being patient," Pace said. "Seeing the hole, knowing when to take the right steps, and just seeing everything. The game was so slow for him. So I think that's what made it even better."
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