On Tuesday, I wrote about how the Clemson quarterback situation represented a new frontier for how coaches handled the new redshirt rule. Dabo Swinney announced Monday true freshman Trevor Lawrence will replace senior Kelly Bryant as the Tigers' starting quarterback moving forward. Clemson is four games into the season, meaning Bryant's career was at a crossroads: if he played one more game as a Tiger, even to take a knee at the end of a 63-0 win, his career would end this season; if he sat the rest of this season, he could use 2018 as a redshirt year and play elsewhere in 2019.
Swinney indicated he would support Kelly if he chose to sit the rest of this season in order to extend his college career.
“Certainly if (Bryant) walked in here today and said, ‘Hey coach, I don’t want to play the rest of the year unless you’ve got to have me,’ well ‘Ok, if that’s what you want to do I’m all for it.’ I love Kelly," Swinney told The State. "I would be disappointed in that because we need him. But I wouldn’t judge him for that.”
Now, this situation seems like a moot point. Bryant told the Greenville (S.C.) News on Wednesday he intends to transfer.
“They asked me how I felt about it,” Bryant told the paper. “I was like, ‘I’m not discrediting Trevor. He’s doing everything asked of him, but on my side of it, I feel like I haven't done anything to not be the starter. I've been here. I've waited my turn. I've done everything y’all have asked me to do, plus more.’
“I've never been a distraction. I've never been in trouble with anything. To me, it was kind of a slap in the face.”
It is not immediately clear if Bryant will ride out the rest of this season in a Clemson uniform or if he will leave the team immediately, but considering he did not practice Tuesday and gave the quote above, the latter seems far more likely.
Outside of Bryant, Clemson has four quarterbacks on the roster and all of them are freshmen: Lawrence, redshirt freshman Chase Brice, redshirt freshman Patrick McClure and true freshman Ben Batson. Only one, Brice, has played, throwing eight passes across three appearances, and the latter two are walk-ons.
Bryant figures to be one of the most highly sought after graduate transfers on the 2019 market. He holds a 16-2 record at Clemson's starter, including an ACC championship and a trip to the College Football Playoff. In 30 career games, Bryant has completed 311-of-470 passes (66.2 percent) for 3,338 yards (7.1 per attempt) with 16 touchdowns against 10 interceptions while rushing 257 times for 1,261 yards and 16 scores.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.