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Clemson University’s football program suffered a major blow when its top returning running back – junior Zac Brooks – was lost for the season due to a foot injury.

“Zac was having an outstanding camp and was ready for a terrific year,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said.  “The plan is for Zac to sit out this year due to the injury and come back next year as a red-shirt junior. This is a big loss because he is such a reliable player in all phases of the game.  He knows the offense inside and out.”

Brooks carried the football 48 times for 246 yards in 2013 – scoring a pair of touchdowns.  He also caught six passes for 83 yards and another touchdown.

The 6-foot-1, 190-pound native of Jonesboro, Arkansas was the number two running back on the Clemson depth chart heading into the 2014 season opener against No. 12 Georgia.

Last year, Jones caught a 31-yard touchdown pass from Tajh Boyd to help lift the Tigers to a 38-35 win over the Bulldogs.

Brooks’ injury places additional pressure on senior tailback D.J. Howard, who was listed as the team’s top tailback heading into the 2014 campaign.  Clemson has boasted a 1,000-yard rusher in each of the last three seasons.