Lyn-J-Dixon-Clemson-football
Clemson running back Lyn-J Dixon has 1,372 career rushing yards entering 2021. (John Byrum/Getty Images)

Clemson Football

Clemson: Predicting Tigers tailback rotation, carries leader

There is plenty going on at Clemson right now, and senior writer Matt Connolly is ready to answer whatever questions you might have. You can submit your question for the “Question of the Day” here. Today’s question is about the running backs rotation. Check back daily for answers to whatever is on your mind.

This is a really good question and one that is tough to answer at this point, for several reasons.

For one, there are seven running backs on scholarship competing for carries. We also don’t know which players might get banged up as the season goes along, and our viewing of practice has been limited thus far.

Sophomore Kobe Pace has had a really good spring, by all accounts, and I do believe he is a big contributor this season. But for now, I’m going to stick with senior Lyn-J Dixon.

The Butler, Ga. native has been great at certain times during his career and has underwhelmed other times. But overall, I think he is underrated by the fan base.

Dixon is averaging 6.6 yards per carry for his career entering 2021, which is behind only Travis Etienne all-time at Clemson.

He was banged up early last season but appeared healthy and fresh at the end of the year. Dixon had 3 carries for 37 yards and a touchdown in the regular season finale at Virginia Tech and 2 carries for 20 yards in the Sugar Bowl loss to Ohio State.

Dixon knows the playbook, has the trust of the coaching staff and is powerful and explosive when he’s healthy.

This isn’t to say he’s a lock to have the most carries. I think Pace and Chez Mellusi will be a big part of the offense as well and could surpass him.

Freshmen backs Will Shipley and Phil Mafah could get in the mix, too, as they learn the playbook more and improve in pass protection.

But with several underclassmen making some noise, don’t forget about the steady senior who has quietly put together a very good career. Dixon has been waiting for his opportunity to shine and now he gets it.

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