Green Bay Packers 2017 Draft: Interview with Clemson running back Wayne Gallman
By Dan Dahlke
There isn’t any better way for a player to end his collegiate career than with a National Championship. After falling to Alabama by one score in the 2016 college championship game, Clemson rebounded with a 35-31 upset against the Crimson Tide to become the 2017 college football champions.
An integral part to Clemson’s incredible championship run was without a doubt junior halfback Wayne Gallman. In fact, in the past two seasons with Gallman as their leading rusher, amassing a combined 2660 yards on the ground, the Tigers had a combined record of 28-2. They were an impressive 17-0 when Gallman eclipsed 100 rushing yards in a game.
The 6-foot, 210-pound running back isn’t used to losing, and he’s a player that does everything in his power to ensure a “W” for his team on gameday. As a selfless back, Gallman can carry the rock 20 times a game or make his presence felt in the passing game as a receiver or pass protector.
In 2015, Gallman set the Clemson single-season rushing record with 1527 yards on the ground, while also scoring 13 touchdowns. The Georgia native left the Tigers third in school history in rushing touchdowns (34) and fifth in career rushing yards (3,529), twice earning All-ACC honors.
As a a runner, Gallman is just the right balance between downhill power between the tackles and quick elusiveness out in space. He possesses the breakaway speed to make big plays, but also runs with the strength and physicality to gain the tough yards down in and out.
He’s also an underrated receiver out of the backfield, making him a true three-down offensive weapon at the next level. In a deep NFL Draft class of running backs, Gallman may not grab the national attention of his peers, but the former Clemson tailback is every bit as talented as the top group of running backs and should garner more draft buzz as April approaches.
In fact, this week’s Combine is a perfect opportunity for Gallman to turn some heads and put his name in the top tier of the running back class.
The Green Bay Packers could certainly use a player of Gallman’s ability in their backfield. In fact, the former Clemson Tiger could be a halfback Ted Thompson and his front office target this spring. Gallman’s ability to excel in each phase of the game and be a versatile weapon out of the backfield would certainly lend itself to what the Packers do on offense.
Considering the possible match on draft day, I recently reached out to Gallman to speak to him about his game and get his thoughts about potentially playing for a team like the Packers, as well as hear about what he can do at this week’s Combine to impress scouts and GMs.
Gallman was gracious enough to take the time to answer my questions.
Q. You ended your college career at Clemson in the best fashion possible, beating Alabama in the championship game. How does it feel to wrap up your career at Clemson like this?
Gallman: It feels great to have gone out like this. There’s no other way I could have wanted it to go. My time at Clemson has completely transformed me in different ways on and off the field as a man that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
Q. You’ve had two back-to-back monster rushing seasons as Clemson’s featured halfback. What do you think you’ve been able to show NFL scouts with your play on the field these past two seasons?
Gallman: I think my film will mostly speak for itself. I can run when nothing is there and I can pass protect to help out the offensive line and watch my quarterback’s back. I hope people see that I have so much more to offer even after what I’ve done at Clemson.
Q. You’re an explosive, physical runner who seems to do everything well at the position. Has there been a specific moment or game in your time at Clemson that you felt really showcased what you can do on the field?
Gallman: I think the 2016 ACC championship game really showed what I could do as a running back with all the touches and catches I had. Throughout the whole 2016 season I think I showcased how well I can pass protect. That was maybe something people didn’t know I could do well before the season.
Q. Give us a brief scouting report on yourself. How would you define your style of play? What are your strengths as a running back?
Gallman: I am a physical runner that doesn’t like to go down. I believe I can beat people by either out running them or by running through them. My strengths are my vision and my determination to always try my best to get that extra yard.
Q. What is an area of your game you’d like to still improve on?
Gallman: An area I would still like to improve on is just being a complete overalll running back and also continue strengthening my pass protection.
Q. Many believe the 2017 running back draft class is one of the best groups in recent memory, and you’re widely regarded as one of the top backs in the group. How do you feel you stack up against the other running backs in this class? What makes you standout or is something that makes you unique at the position?
Gallman: I feel like I’m potentially the best out of this class. I know at Clemson I had to do a lot more than just run the ball. I had to help pass protect and receive. I feel as if I were used in more ways I could have made a bigger impact at Clemson than I did. I think what makes me standout is my effort and my will to not go down. I’m always fighting for the extra yard. I feel as if no one has really seen my true potential yet.
Q. With the NFL Draft only a couple months away, is there anything you can do this spring, whether it’s at the Combine or Pro Day, that can grab the attention of scouts and improve your draft stock?
Gallman: I think my 40 time and overall workout at the combine or pro day will grab a lot of attention and solidify what type of back I am. People will see how fast I am and how well I can catch the ball out of the backfield.
Q. Running back could be one of the top priorities the Green Bay Packers address in the draft this spring. We feel you’re a guy that would fit well in their offense and could potentially be targeted by the Packers front office. If Green Bay ended up drafting you this spring, how would you feel about playing for a team like the Packers?
Gallman: I would absolutely love playing for the Packers. I’d do anything possible to help better the team in any way. At the end of the day I just want to be great.
Q. What would you bring to their offense and what could you learn by playing with guys like Aaron Rodgers, Randall Cobb, and Jordy Nelson?
Gallman: Well, hopefully I could bring my own edge to the running game to help out the team. With all those guys being veterans I think I could learn very quick the culture and what I need to do as a team player to help the team win.
Q. Regardless of who drafts you, what will that moment mean to you when you finally hear your name called and you’re officially in the NFL?
Gallman: It would mean absolutely everything to hear my name called and to be on an NFL team. It’s been my dream since I was five years old to play in the NFL and I’d truly be happy.
Q. Finally, tell us a little bit more about yourself. When you’re away from football, what do you like to do in your free time?
Gallman: I’m an all around guy. I would say I’m very laid back. Away from football, I usually just hang out with friends and just chill and eat good food or play video games.
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. We wish you the best of luck with everything.