'There are a lot of people out there that do not have one good one'
With Hunter Johnson off to Northwestern to continue his football career, Clemson is left with three scholarship quarterbacks on its roster for the 2018 season. Though Johnson was considered one of the best backup quarterbacks in the country, the Tigers are not panicking because the former 5-star decided to transfer.
“We still have good depth,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said Wednesday. “Now we have three that I think we can win with. We had four that I felt like we could win with, now we have three.”
Those three are seniors Kelly Bryant, freshman Trevor Lawrence and redshirt freshman Chase Brice.
“Those other three guys, we can win with all three of those guys so I think we are in a good spot,” Swinney said. “There are a lot of people out there that do not have one good one.”
Bryant started last season and led the Tigers to a 12-2 record and a third straight appearance in the College Football Playoff. At one point, Clemson was the No. 1 team in the country.
The senior threw for 2,802 yards, while completing 65.8 percent of his passes. He had 13 touchdown passes to 8 interceptions in 398 attempts. Bryant also rushed for 665 yards and 11 more touchdowns in leading the Tigers to a third straight ACC Championship.
Lawrence will enter preseason camp as the No. 2 guy on the depth chart with an opportunity to win the job from Bryant after having a good second half to the spring. The freshman from Cartersville, Ga., concluded spring drills by throwing for 122 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown pass to Tee Higgins in the spring game. He was 11-of-16 passing on the day with no interceptions.
Lawrence was considered the No. 1 overall player in the nation coming out of high school by Rivals and 247 Sports after leading his high school team to a 52-2 mark the previous four years. He led the program to a 41-game winning streak and was 14-2 in state playoff games.
He passed for a Georgia State record 13, 908 yards and 161 touchdowns. His passing yards and touchdown passes surpassed state records that were previously owned by former Clemson All-American, and national championship quarterback, Deshaun Watson.
Brice was redshirted in 2018, but had a very productive spring. He concluded the spring with a game-high 231 yards on 12-of-19 passing, including a 50-yard touchdown pass to Diondre Overton in the spring game.
In high school, Brice was a 4-star product, while leading Grayson (Ga.) High School to state championship in his senior year. Brice’s Grayson teams were 40-7 in his career as a starter. During his senior year, he led Grayson to a 14-1 record and a No. 10 national ranking.
Brice threw for 2,830 yards his senior year, while completing 173 of 269 passes in an offense that was primarily a rushing offense. He had an efficiency rating of 190.9 while throwing 33 touchdowns to just three interceptions.
“We have three good ones and we will let them battle it out and see who is going to lead the Tigers,” Swinney said. “I think it will work out great.”