SUNSET, S.C. — One of the things that made Deshaun Watson so good at Clemson was the way his teammates respected him.
The team was drawn to him and it showed at big moments, like when the Tigers needed to go 68 yards in the final two minutes of the national championship game to beat Alabama last January.
Though Kelly Bryant still has to prove himself on the football field, the former Wren High School (Piedmont, S.C.) standout already has the respect of his teammates in the locker room.
“When he steps into the room and he has that big smile on his face, he just brightens up the room,” quarterbacks coach Brandon Streeter said on Tuesday. “He has that natural leadership ability. Guys are attracted to Kelly Bryant. He is always smiling and it is easy to be attracted to that.”
Streeter said Bryant is a guy everyone on the team likes, much like Watson was, and they all gravitate to him.
“He is just a teammate that not only the quarterbacks get along with or just the offense, but a lot of defensive guys do to,” Streeter said. “So he is very influential in that way, which I saw right away when he got here. Right when he stepped on campus, I knew he had that about him.
“He has that aura or that personality that can brighten up a room.”
Bryant, who is competing with freshmen Zerrick Cooper and Hunter Johnson for the starting job this fall, is a guy Streeter says can help the football team if he is the starting quarterback or not because of his experience and his attitude.
“By him having that natural leadership ability that people are attracted to it definitely helps whether he is the guy or not,” Streeter said. “He can influence people whether he is the starting quarterback or he is the backup quarterback.
“He is going to be a guy that is going to influence this football team, offensively and defensively just because of who he is as a person and because of his personality.”
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