September 1, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Clemson Tigers running back Andre Ellington (23) breaks a long run in the second half against the Auburn Tigers at the Georgia Dome. Clemson won 26-19. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

Clemson RB Andre Ellington Looks Poised for Big Season

September 1, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Clemson Tigers running back Andre Ellington (23) breaks a long run in the second half against the Auburn Tigers at the Georgia Dome. Clemson won 26-19. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

Welcome back, College Football, you’ve been missed. This past week/weekend I’ve spent a lot of time in front of the T.V. watching all of the College Football action. Even though some of the games were very disappointing (Michigan getting blown out by Alabama as one such game), there was plenty to pay attention too. In TeTennessee there’s a JUCO WR, Cordarrelle Patterson who burst onto the scene with a monster game for the Vols. He showcased pretty good hands and terrific run after the catch ability. .  The #1 JUCO recruit in the country could be emerging as a potential first round pick throughout this season. Running back Marcus Lattimore played well in his first game action since last year’s season ending injury Quarterback Geno Smith showcased his tantalizing ability that makes him an intriguing prospect.

On the opposite end of the spectrum near-consensus #1 Cornerback in the nation, David Amerson, struggled and people are questioning out-loud whether or not Amerson projects better at safety than cornerback in the N.F.L.

But through all of that the thing that stood out most to me was the performance of Andre Ellington the running back for Clemson. Last year, I projected that Ellington would be a mid to late day three pick if he were to enter into the 2012 N.F.L. draft, despite his terrific speed.  I questioned his ability to break tackles on the next level and to play in between the tackles. I was also worried about his ability to make quick decisions and get up field, but on Saturday he had a terrific game. He looked stronger, and more decisive in this particular game. He carried the Tigers on Saturday. With a powerful offense that includes the uber talented Sammy Watkins and the more than serviceable DeAndre Hopkins he won’t be seeing 8 or 9 men in the box every play and should have plenty of room to operate.  If he can improve his pass blocking skills and continue refining his receiving skills he could be a day two pick in the 2013 N.F.L. draft–a major improvement if he had entered the 2012 N.F.L. draft. He’ll still have to beat the bad rap that Clemson players have gotten from talent evaluators in order to do so (many feel they are woefully unprepared physically for the N.F.L.

 

Look for Ellington to continue to have a big season, but maybe not quite the 231 yards at an 8.9  yards per carry clip he produced on Saturday.

 

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