There is a reason why Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney named Kelly Bryant as the Tigers’ starter for the Sept. 2 opener against Kent State.
“Our team is very confident in Kelly right now on where we are in fall camp,” Clemson co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott said after practice on Thursday.
Scott and the rest of the Tigers’ offensive coaches have been very pleased with the way the junior has come back from the spring and has shown, by the way he is playing, how much work he put in over the summer.
“He is very much improved since the spring,” Scott said. “He is another guy where it has been very evident how hard he has worked in the off-season and in the summer. He came out here in Day One, and he was much improved from where he was in the spring practice. I feel like he has been very consistent and has been throwing the ball well.”
Scott admitted freshmen Zerrick Cooper and Hunter Johnson are right behind Bryant and are competing hard, but right now Bryant is out in front because he has shown a better grasp of the offense and has been more consistent in making good decisions in both the run game and in the passing game.
Bryant also has done a better job executing the offense, understanding the movements, shifts, motions, personnel groups and formations.
“He is not overwhelmed with what we are doing,” Scott said. “The overall flow, execution and pace of the offense have been really good under him.”
As they have put the offense together, Scott said it has been fun watching film and cutups of the last three quarterbacks who have run Clemson’s power-spread offense – Tajh Boyd, Cole Stoudt and Deshaun Watson. In doing so the Clemson coach noticed all of the Tigers’ quarterbacks in the current system have all had different skillsets and talent.
“It is kind of fun going back as we are kind of installing the offense and watching cutups,” Scott said. “You see Tajh Boyd and you are kind of remembering what type of quarterback he was and what his strengths were. Then Cole Stoudt is in there and obviously, and more recently, Deshaun.
“But Kelly has a great skillset and he brings a lot of things to the table. The biggest thing for him is to continue to develop as a passer and get the ball out in time and all of that. That’s where we have seen the most improvement and that is why he is in a good position right now.”
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