For a guy who is in the middle of one of the biggest quarterback battles in college football, Kelly Bryant is extremely upbeat.
The Clemson quarterback came off the practice field at Jervey Meadows in Clemson Tuesday afternoon laughing, singing and even did a little dance for the media. He did not look like a guy that could lose his job to freshman Trevor Lawrence.
“I prepare like I am the starter,” the senior said. “I feel like when I come out here and step on the field I am the starter. I try to be that leader for all the guys. I don’t think I have changed anything. If anything, I have enhanced it as well.”
On Aug. 20 last year, Swinney named Bryant his starting quarterback, a job he kept all season while leading the second-ranked Tigers to an ACC Championship and another appearance in the College Football Playoff.
This year, Swinney is keeping that information close to the vest. He said on Monday he will not name any starters for the Furman game or a depth chart until next Monday. Bryant says he has no problem with what Swinney told the media.
Swinney and the coaches will talk about the depth chart on Wednesday while the team is off for the first day of classes. He will tell the team of their plans on Thursday.
Thursday will be Clemson’s first practice as it turns the page and gets ready to play Furman on Sept. 1 at Death Valley.
“It is up to the coaches,” Bryant said. “I feel like I have done everything I needed to do. I will leave it in the coaches’ hands. I just have to make sure that I am ready each-and-every week.”
When it comes to sharing reps with Lawrence and having to stay in the flow of the game, Bryant does not appear too bothered about it. Swinney has told the media since the spring he plans to play multiple quarterbacks once the season starts.
Though he played every major snap when he was healthy last season, Bryant says he is okay with sharing reps.
“I just stay ready,” he said.
As far as being a leader to Lawrence and Chase Brice, and helping them get better, the senior enjoys that part of being the upperclassman. He remembers when he was the young guy and he leaned on Deshaun Watson and Nick Schuessler to help him. He wants to pay it forward.
“I do what I have been doing all along. I had younger guys in the room last year,” he said. “I worked under two older guys and I just lean on what they taught me and brought me up on. I’m just making sure I am doing everything for myself as well.
“Both of those guys have been doing the same thing for me. Whenever I don’t see something, they may see something differently, so I have been getting their input. So, it has been good to see that.”