Clemson University

Clemson found another ‘great’ running back, and an injury update on Tee Higgins

Dabo Swinney on Clemson’s improved receivers

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney on early practice observations, improved receivers
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Clemson coach Dabo Swinney on early practice observations, improved receivers

Last year, freshman running back Travis Etienne was the talk of preseason camp at Clemson. This year, freshman running back Lyn-J Dixon is starting to get some buzz.

Tigers coach Dabo Swinney spoke with the media following Wednesday’s practice and said Dixon has been turning heads throughout the first week of practice.

The Georgia native enrolled at Clemson this fall and is off to a strong start.

Tigers co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott recruited Dixon from Butler, Ga., and Etienne from Jennings, La. Elliott might have found two gems.

“I told Tony he’s got a horseshoe up his butt. He’s hit on two great ones in a row,” Swinney said. “He’s gone to a couple of little small towns two years in a row and found a really special talent. I think Lyn-J has shown in five days that he’s got the right stuff. Now, he doesn’t always go in the right direction and got a lot of technique to clean up. But man, he’s tough. He likes it. He’s got great vision. He had the two best runs in short yardage today. So, just very encouraged.”

Etienne burst onto the scene in 2017, leading the Tigers with 766 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns, despite not starting a game.

Etienne is listed as the starter on Clemson’s preseason depth chart, while Dixon is running fourth string as the fourth scholarship running back on the roster. Dixon has a chance to move up the depth chart if he can keep impressing.

“He’s got a lot to learn, and especially as we keep installation coming, but I’ve been very impressed with Lyn-J,” Swinney said. “It’s a good situation. I told y’all before the year, if everything goes well, I think our backs have a chance to be a pretty good group. With what I’ve seen so far in practice, I think we’re headed in that direction.”

Higgins sidelined

Clemson receiver Tee Higgins was in yellow on Wednesday and not participating in practice. Swinney is unsure how long he will be sidelined with a hamstring injury.

“Yeah, he just kind of just tweaked his ham a little bit,” Swinney said, adding that Higgins will be out until trainer Danny Poole clears him. “Just whenever Danny says jump back out there.”

Feaster back

Running back Tavien Feaster, who was Clemson’s starter last year but is currently No. 2 on the depth chart, was back at practice on Wednesday.

Feaster was in yellow for the first four practices of the preseason and was jogging on the sidelines.

“Yeah, it’s the first day that he’s been full speed. So, just getting him back out there, and I think he’ll get stronger and stronger each day,” Swinney said. “But he did everything today for the first day, so it was good.”