According to ESPN, Clemson running back Zac Brooks will be out for the season with an injury to his foot. Brooks is a junior that was ready to make a big impact for the Tigers revamped running game in 2014. He injured his foot on Monday night, but the school announced his status for the season on Wednesday.
During Zac Brooks’ limited touches in 2013, he showed that he had the potential to carry the load for the Clemson Tigers. He finished the season with 48 carries for 246 yards and two touchdowns.
In addition to the ground game, Brooks has caught the ball nine times for 92 yards in his Clemson career. That’s a solid 10 yards per catch, and he would have been essential to the growth of Cole Stoudt.
However, the loss of Brooks could have long lasting effects for the Clemson Tigers. They’ve already lost the majority of their offense from last season, so any experience from the skill position players was going to be a factor for the offense. Coach Dabo Sweeney stated that “Zac was having an outstanding camp, and was ready for a terrific year.”
Clemson plans for Zac Brown to red shirt this year and come back as strong as ever for the 2015 season. With the loss of Brown, there’s a chance for other running backs to step into the forefront.
ESPN notes that D.J. Howard might be the best suited to replace Brooks as the starter. In three years, Brooks hasn’t had much opportunity to shine, but the senior has a chance to seize the moment. Howard has 581 rushing yards and six touchdowns in his career so far.
Clemson also has three freshmen that may be counted upon as the season gets deep into conference play. Adam Choice and C.J. Fuller will get their opportunity to make a difference for Clemson this season. According to ESPN, Choice was a Top 300 recruit in the ESPN300 ratings.
The Clemson Tigers face the Georgia Bulldogs to open the season.