Monday Morning Quarterback
The quarterback competition at Clemson does not appear to be much of a competition at this time, at least not for the starter.
Kelly Bryant came into spring practice last month as the Tigers’ No. 1 guy, and he has done nothing to lose that position. In last Wednesday’s scrimmage, he threw four touchdown passes, three more than any of the other three quarterbacks vying for the job.
When asked last week if he would name his starting quarterback at the end of the spring, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said he did not have to name one because he already has one.
“We got a starter right now,” Swinney said. “Kelly’s our starter, so there’s no announcement unless that changes … Kelly’s the returning starter. He started 14 games, so that’s where we are.
“So if something changes, there’s an announcement to make. If not, there’s no announcement.”
With five practices left this spring, many fans and some in the media expected, just like last year, Bryant would have already been overtaken by at least one of the upstarts … Hunter Johnson, Chase Brice and Trevor Lawrence.
And though those three have made strides, Bryant has as well. It seems as if all of the naysayers out there forget where Bryant has come from and what he has overcome to be in the position he is in today. He isn’t going to turn over his job to Johnson, Brice or Lawrence because everyone thinks they are better.
“Everybody wants to write me off,” the rising senior said. “But I’m still here, and I ain’t going nowhere.”
Instead, Bryant has embraced the competition. He does not get mad when he reads or hears what people are saying about him or how the other guys are coming on. Instead, it motivates him. It fires him up. It pushes him to be better.
“Everybody wants to talk about everything else that’s coming in,” Bryant said. “But me, I just go back to work. I just let everybody do the talking.”
Most of the talk this spring as been about Lawrence, as the former 5-star has shown off his arm in practice as well as picked up the offense even faster than the coaches thought he would. Swinney, co-offensive coordinators Tony Elliott and Jeff Scott, as well as a few players, have raved about the freshman phenom this spring.
Bryant sees Lawrence coming on, as well as Johnson and Brice. However, he does not let that bother him. He just continues to work on himself. In fact, he even helps the other three. If they have a question or they don’t understand something clearly, he assists them the best way he can.
Like Bryant said, he is still here and it does not appear he is going anywhere anytime soon.