The Clemson Tigers have produced so many outstanding NFL players. However, Clemson’s history of producing NFL running backs is quite scarce. Andre Ellington, Jaime Harper, and CJ Spiller are the most recent backs out of Clemson and unfortunately, haven’t lived up to their potential at the next level. Well, Gallman might be the Clemson running back that changes history.
DOB: 10/1/1994 (22 years old on draft day)
Wayne Gallman, rated as a four-star prospect by 247sports, ESPN and Scout.com, is easily one of the most underrated running backs in the nation. He has a unique blend of athletic and physical ability that make him an intriguing NFL prospect. With 3,285 yards and 32 touchdowns in his three years at Clemson, it’s hard to believe that he can be overlooked and undervalued.
Gallman comes from a competitive family in which both of his brothers played football and basketball. His father, Wayne Gallman Sr, served in the Marines for 24 years. His father was also a running back at Terry Parker High and played safety at Valdosta State.
Gallman would choose to attend Grayson high school in Loganville, Georgia, where he played primarily on defense the first year. According to an article by Ed McGranahan of the state.com, Grayson High coaches loved Gallman’s physicality so much, that they played him at outside linebacker. He would be rotated between running back and linebacker during his sophomore season. His coaches quickly noticed that he was just as violent on offense as he was defense.
Ironically enough, Gallman’s high school coach, Mickey Conn, was roommates with current Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney while at Alabama. It is also ironic that Conn is now a part of Clemson’s staff according to clemsontigers.com. It seems as though Gallman’s destiny was to become a Clemson Tiger all along.
Lateral Quickness and Mental Processing:
Gallman’s above average lateral agility is his calling card in terms of his running style. He does an outstanding job gaining acceleration off his lead step. He then displays the ability to decelerate, stabilize and then accelerate again in any direction quickly without losing speed or balance.
In this clip you see Gallman use solid mental processing to identify his blockers losing the initial lane. He is then able to use good ankle flexion to stop on a dime, shift his hips, and redirect himself without losing speed. It is also a testament to his decision-making to allow his blockers to reset as he identifies a new running lane.
Here Gallman showcases outstanding ankle flexion to stop, redirect and accelerate quickly. His athletic ability is put on display as he hurdles over two players to gain five more yards.
Gallman is also used as a pass catcher in which he is very reliable. Here Gallman catches the ball and accelerates quickly. His fast mental processing allows him to identify a new running lane away from two defenders. Again, his lateral quickness is evident as he uses sudden hip and head gestures to throw off the defender. He keeps his weight on the inside foot and plants on the outside foot, allowing him to move quickly in a lateral plane.
Balance and Lower Body Strength:
Along with Gallman’s ability to move laterally with ease, he also has the ability to maintain his balance between the tackles. His balance allows him to bounce around between the tackles like a game of pinball, in which he can hold up and escape through the trenches despite receiving contact.
Gallman breaks the first arm tackle and uses an effective one-cut to position himself into a new running lane. He then shifts himself through traffic using very good balance, burst, and vision. His ability to stabilize his body while bobbing and weaving through traffic gives him an edge on the defenders he may face.
This clip shows how Gallman sets up his blockers in space allowing him to use his above-average burst and acceleration to break through the hole. He demonstrates good balance and determination to break away from two potential tackles. He fails to use the stiff arm but his balance and competitive toughness keep him on his feet to gain extra yards.
This is probably one of the most impressive displays of balance, good center of gravity and competitive toughness that you will see from a running back. Gallman keeps his legs moving through contact, which allows him to drag multiple defenders and teammates with him in order to fight for the first down.
One of my biggest takeaways while watching Gallman is his upright running style. Usually, a running back with a high pad level doesn’t gain as much power and win against blockers or tacklers as much as Gallman does. He fails to get a lower lean while running, which makes it more difficult for defenders to hit the football on contact.
Here you see Gallman use good vision to maneuver his way to the open hole but is quickly wrap-up tackled and stopped. His eyes and shoulders are above the incoming tackler’s, which gives the defenders leverage to stop him in his tracks. The concern is that his upright running style will plague him at the next level. He will need to learn to drop his shoulder pad level and drop his eyes below the defender’s eyes to gain better leverage in the trenches.
There are many who have praised Gallman’s blocking ability, but while watching multiple games, I do have concerns. Against NC State, you can clearly see that Gallman miss-identifies the block allowing the defender to break past him with ease.
Again, against NC State, he misidentifies the block and allows the defender to blow right past him. Unfortunately, he never gets to the defender quicker than the defender gets to him. He never allows himself to get to the contact point, which is driving himself at the defenders hip.
He fails to keep both of his hands out front, with his palms up and fingers open. Once he brings his arms down, he doesn’t have the time it takes to reposition his elbows, knees, and hands to stop the defender upon impact. This is something that he will need to be coached up on in the NFL.
There are many running backs in College football that display tenacity and fluidity within the running style. After studying Gallman, I am much more intrigued by him as an NFL prospect than before I started. His competitive nature, ability to keep his legs moving through contact and above average lateral agility give him an edge on other running backs in the league. His pass protection isn’t terrible but does need to be improved and his pad level needs to be lower so he doesn’t take so much contact increasing his risk of injury.
Gallman has all the tools to be a starter in the NFL, but I see him in a committee at the beginning of his career. His upside as an NFL prospect will only grow as he gains better coaching and knowledge of the game. I can easily see him going in the late third or early fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft.