Monday Morning Quarterback
A lot of people, including the Clemson coaches, were hoping Saturday’s scrimmage at Death Valley might shine a little better light on the quarterback competition. Instead, it seems they are still in the dark on what to do.
From what we heard from the coaches and players following the 106-play scrimmage, quarterbacks Kelly Bryant, Trevor Lawrence and Chase Brice all played well. None of the quarterbacks threw an interception and all three threw touchdown passes, while leading the offense on multiple scoring drives.
Though Lawrence was again doing Trevor Lawrence things, Bryant was just as steady as ever and continues to have a good camp.
“That is what I love about Kelly, he has accepted the challenge,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said. “He has not backed down from the challenge. He could have said, ‘See you boys. I’m out of here!’ Go somewhere where it might not be as challenging or somewhere where it might be an easier path.
“No, he decided to stay right here. It has been great to see him compete. His game is at a whole other level than at any point last year.”
But is it enough to beat out Lawrence?
“Trevor is everything you think he is. He is a very gifted player. He is still a freshman,” Swinney said.
Technically, Brice is a freshman, too. The redshirt freshman has held his own. Though no one else believes it, he is still in the quarterback race. The coaches have raved about Brice since camp began and they have not backed off in believing he can win a lot of games for them as well.
“Chase just will not go away,” Swinney said. “Everybody wants Chase to go away and he will not go away. He is battling.”
Clemson is in a similar spot at other positions on the team. Wide receiver, running back, tight end, the list goes on, the Tigers have competition everywhere and at every one of those positions the coaches believe they can win no matter who starts the game or who plays.
“That is really what Coach Swinney and our staff is trying to build from a recruiting standpoint is that every year starters have to come back and compete with the young guys coming in,” co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott said. “That is really where you want to get to. Already, through one week of fall camp, we feel very confident that we have three quarterbacks that we can go win with.
“Now, it will be fun just to watch those guys compete for the next three weeks to see who gets to run out there first.”
Until then, the coaches will sit back and enjoy the situation they have creative, the ability to have three quarterbacks who can lead the team where they want to go.
“That will be great when you know the guy. It is what is. That is why you practice. It is very competitive,” Swinney said.