As far as Kelly Bryant is concerned the quarterback position at Clemson is his. He has last year under his belt and is confident he can lead the Tigers back to the College Football Playoff.
“I feel like I know I can do this,” Bryant said this past spring. “There are still those that are going to question me, but what I did last year is confidence for me. That is confidence for this team going forward.”
The Calhoun Fall, S.C., native waited his turn behind Deshaun Watson to become Clemson’s quarterback last season. Bryant completed 65.8 percent of his passes last year for 2,802 yards. More importantly, he was 12-2 as a starter.
Question: How about this new group of wide receivers?
Bryant: “We definitely have some great guys. Two great guys just left, but we’ve got guys stepping up. Trevion Thompson is a guy that has been here four years and worked hard. Now he is getting an opportunity. You’ve got Tee Higgins, Diondre Overton and guys like T.J. Chase and Amari Rodgers and Cornell Powell. I know they are anxious to make the most of their opportunity.”
Question: What are you doing to help some of the younger Quarterbacks?
Bryant: “We have been meeting together and pretty much just going through everything…all the installs. Always looking at what we did right and what we did wrong and we find ways to get better. We grow. Everybody wants to talk about the competition, and it’s competitive. It might be a competition, but we work together. We are finding ways to get better as a unit.”
Question: How are you going to play a leadership role and what do you expect from yourself this year?
Bryant: “Senior year, man. This just flew by. It seems surreal. I’m having to step into a new role. I’ve got to find ways to get better, mentally and physically, and lead all the guys. All the stuff that everyone is saying is based off last year and what last year’s team did. We have a new team. We are going to have to work if we want to be in the situation that we want to be in.”
Question: Do you think you will be the starting quarterback?
Bryant: “It’s my job. I haven’t done anything to raise any question, so I don’t feel it’s not my job. It’s mine to lose of course, so my mindset is to get better every day. Just continue to work and never be complacent.”
Question: How has your mindset changed from last year?
Bryant: “I still have the same mentality. I’ve got guys in that room that are coming for the spot. I know that I’m going to have to work my butt off just as hard, if not harder, as them. It’s a good thing to have guys that are competitive. I know that feeling they have.”
Question: Is there anything particular that you are working on to improve?
Bryant: “The biggest thing for me is just taking care of my body … the wear and tear that I go through during the season. I’m making sure to take care of my arms and my legs. I’m on my game, being more consistent, being not only a better passer, but a better decision maker.”
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