After suffering a toe injury at Boston College last season, Andre Ellington initially thought the malady to be minor and expected a quick recovery. The injury turned out to be serious: a ligament tear and fractured sesamoid bone. After trying to rehab, the Clemson running back elected for season-ending surgery in December.
At Monday's spring practice Ellington ran for the first time since his surgery and said he has had no setbacks in his rehab following surgery.
Ellington is expected to miss the entire spring practice and return to full football activities in August camp.
"It went pretty good," Ellington said of Monday's light running. "At first it was just getting loose for the first time running and it felt a little weird, but after I got going it felt pretty good.
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"Other than the soreness, everything is going according (to plan)."
The Berkeley High product was Clemson's leading rusher prior to the injury and had become Clemson's featured tailback after beginning the season in a timeshare with Jamie Harper.
With Harper electing to go into the NFL draft, Ellington is again expected to be the feature back for the Tigers once he returns to health.
"It was good to see him running again," Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. "He looked good."
Ellington compared the injury to Duke point guard Kyrie Irving's toe issue.
He described it as a case of "major turf toe." Ellington rushed for 686 yards on 118 carries last year.
Ellington said he will test his repaired foot again Wednesday.
Price is right at left tackle
Swinney said 6-foot-6, 300-pound lineman Phillip Price will get the first shot at replacing Chris Hairston at left tackle thanks in part to his offseason work ethic. Price is a converted tight end.
"The best thing he does is move his feet," Swinney said.
After catching just 15 passes in the season's final seven games, Dwayne Allen became something of a forgotten man in the Clemson offense. Swinney said that will not be the case this fall and said he has been targeted often in the first two practices in Chad Morris' offense.
Swinney has been encouraged by the play of freshman quarterbacks Tony McNeal and Cole Stoudt, one of whom will likely be Tajh Boyd's backup.
"They both have a lot to learn, but for true freshmen they have both been impressive to me how they are picking things up," Swinney said. "And it is a simpler system from a quarterback standpoint, which is good."