Clemson co-offensive coordinator and running backs coach Tony Elliott revealed Thursday two of the Tigers’ offensive starters for their season opener against Kent State — running back C.J. Fuller and tight end Milan Richard.
Fuller will get the first crack to fill the big shoes of Wayne Gallman, who rushed for 1,133 yards and 17 touchdowns a year ago.
“He finished out last season running second behind Wayne. He also came through the spring as the number one guy and he held his own through camp,” Elliott told The State newspaper’s Matt Connolly on Thursday.
Fuller, a 5-foot-10, 215-pound redshirt junior, carried 47 times for 211 yards, a 4.5 yards-per-carry average, and caught two touchdown passes last season. He has 488 total yards (382 rushing, 106 receiving) and three touchdowns in 30 career games.
Elliott told reporters that Adam Choice and Tavien Feaster are still competing for the No. 2 spot behind Fuller. Choice is a 5-9, 210-pound redshirt junior. Feaster is a 5-11, 210-pound sophomore.
Travis Etienne, a 5-10, 200-pound speedster from Louisiana, has also impressed during his freshman training camp.
Richard, a 6-2, 255-pound redshirt junior known more for his blocking, takes over as the starting tight end after he recorded one catch for nine yards in 15 games last season. He’s been primarily a special teams contributor the past two seasons.
Richard was listed as the starter on Clemson’s preseason depth chart, ahead of redshirt senior D.J. Greenlee and redshirt junior Cannon Smith.