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Swinney Impressed With "Grown" Men in Running Back Room

Heading into a new season with no established veteran, Clemson Tigers' head coach Dabo Swinney is excited about the depth and size throughout the running back room.

No returning running back for the Clemson Tigers had more than 50 carries last season, but the unit's size and depth make up for the lack of experience in 2021.

With the average height of Clemson's running backs at 5-foot-10 and 1/4 inches and their median weight resting at 202.5 pounds, Tigers' head coach Dabo Swinney is excited about not only the size of his running backs but the competition the group is revealing in each other.

"(The running backs) are biggest we've been in that room for a while," Swinney said. "We got some big dudes, man, that's for sure. I mean (Phil) Mafah is a natural big kid; he's smooth. (Will) Shipley's got great size, and Kobe (Pace) is a grown man. None of those guys are little; I mean, they're all put together. Chez (Mellusi) is put together, Mikey Dukes is a big strong physical kid, so it's a really, really good group."

Staff turnover in the offseason saw offensive coordinator Tony Elliott move from coaching running backs to tight ends to make way for C.J. Spiller, who's been envisioning this job and hasn't been overwhelmed, according to Swinney.

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"(C.J. Spiller) has great knowledge, a lot of confidence in what he's doing," Swinney said. "(Spiller) is 33 years old now, and he's well prepared to do what he's doing. He's had a vision for this for a long time. I don't think he knew when that time would come, but he said he'd had a vision for what he wanted to do, And it's just it's been awesome.

"We've had running backs in and out all spring here. Hopefully, Lyn-J (Dixon) will be back on Wednesday. But it's a physical group from top to bottom, and I'm excited about that."

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