news virginia lands former clemson tailback kobe pace from the transfer portal
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Virginia lands former Clemson tailback Kobe Pace from the transfer portal

tony elliott
Photo: UVA Athletics

Former Clemson running back Kobe Pace has committed to Virginia, where he will reunite with former coach Tony Elliott.

Pace ran for 641 yards and averaged 6.2 yards per carry for the Tigers in 2021, but dropped to third on the depth chart at tailback in 2022 behind Will Shipley and Phil Mafah, and only saw action in eight games, getting 30 carries and catching six passes.

To get a sense of what he can do as a featured back, Pace was named ACC Player of the Week after gaining 191 yards on 24 carries in Clemson’s 48-27 win over Wake Forest in 2021, and he had 125 yards on 18 carries in a 19-13 win over Boston College earlier in the 2021 season.

The former three-star recruit will have two years of eligibility remaining.

Pace, listed at 5’10”, 205, at the least will add depth to a backfield that could include Perris Jones, who could return for a sixth season with an NCAA waiver, sophomore Xavier Brown, who was impressive in flashes in his true-freshman season, Cody Brown, a former Miami transfer who didn’t get on the field much for Virginia in 2022, and Mike Hollins, who is aiming to return in 2023 after suffering life-threatening injuries in the Nov. 13 shooting that resulted in the shooting deaths of teammates Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr. and D’Sean Perry.

You can see why it was important for Elliott to try to get a guy like Pace for 2023 when you see that rundown.

The only guy you can pretty much bank on being back right now is Xavier Brown.

For Pace, then, it’s a chance to work himself back into being a featured back at the Power 5 level.

Chris Graham

In addition to being the editor of Augusta Free Press, I've written seven books, including Poverty of Imagination and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, both published in 2019, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For my commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to my YouTube page, youtube.com/chrisgrahamAFP. Want to reach me? Try [email protected].