Clemson coach Dabo Swinney provides insight on decision by RB Dukes to transfer

On Tuesday, it was revealed that Clemson running back Mikey Dukes intended to enter the transfer portal. He’s the third Tiger in a month and second running back to do so, joining fellow running back Lyn-J Dixon and safety Joseph Charleston. All three have been removed from the team’s roster.

Dukes was expected to get more touches after freshman Will Shipley went out with a shin injury against N.C. State on Sept. 25. When asked about the running backs group, coach Dabo Swinney called Dukes one of the most athletic players on the team but wanted to see the Charleston native become more consistent in the details.

“Had a team issue this week with him and just felt like it was time to move on,” Swinney said of Dukes on Wednesday during a weekly Zoom call. “He hasn’t really played. You hate it. Again, that’s kind of where we are in college football and he is, he’s one of the best athletes on this team. It just takes a lot more than that. But same thing: wish him nothing but the best and do anything that I can to help him. Just focused on the guys that are here.”

When asked to elaborate on if the team issue was that Dukes had broken a team rule, Swinney reiterated it was a team issue and there were “consequences for that.”

“I think he just decided he was ready to move on,” Swinney said.

Upon his departure, Dukes played in only one game against South Carolina State and had 7 yards on two carries for the season.

He was listed as an “or” along with Darien Rencher for the Tigers’ third-string running back on the depth chart for the upcoming road game against 23rd-ranked Pittsburgh. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. Saturday and will be broadcast on ESPN.

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