Though his head coach says he has to prove himself every day to keep his job as the starting quarterback, Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant says he has already proved himself.
He has a point.
Bryant did lead the Tigers to a third straight ACC Championship in 2017 and to the College Football Playoff.
“I feel like I proved to myself that I can do this,” the rising senior said after the Tigers’ first practice of the spring Wednesday. “I feel I silenced all the critics. There are still those out there that will question (me). Still, I know what I did last year. That is confidence for me and confidence for this team as we continue to go forward.”
However, outsiders are questioning Bryant’s ability to lead Clemson in 2018. Some wonder if the Tigers faced Alabama again in the College Football Playoff or the national championship game if he could get them past the Crimson Tide.
Those same critics wonder if rising sophomore Hunter Johnson or the nation’s top recruit in Trevor Lawrence should instead get an opportunity to prove what they can do.
“This is my job, man. I don’t feel like I have done anything so far to raise any questions,” Bryant said. “I don’t feel like it is not my job. It is mine to lose of course, but I’m going to have my mindset to get better every day. I just have to continue to work and never get satisfied or complacent.”
Johnson, Lawrence and redshirt freshman Chase Brice will be there to make sure he does not. Bryant isn’t naive, though. He knows all three are aiming for his job so his approach this spring, summer and fall is like it was last spring … hungry.
“I still have the same mentality,” he said. “I have guys in the room that are coming for this spot. So I know that I’m going to have to work my butt off just as hard or more as them. It is a good thing when you have guys like that in the room that want to compete and want to be the guy.
“I know that feeling that they have so I know I’m going to have that same mindset I had all spring and all year long.”