Dabo Swinney does not get it.
Clemson’s head coach does not understand why anyone, especially fans, would want to pull against one of their own players. Of course, Swinney is referring to some of the noise from fans after he announced on Monday Kelly Bryant as his starting quarterback for Saturday’s season-opener against Furman.
Some fans were hoping, or at least thinking, freshman Trevor Lawrence should get the nod over the senior, who started 14 games in 2017 and was the Most Valuable Player of the ACC Championship Game.
“It is really sad that some people may pull for somebody not to play well,” Swinney said Tuesday during his weekly press conference. “They are Clemson Tigers and we should pull for these guys to play great. That is the way it should be. Go play well. The best thing is they are really in control of that and they are both very prepared to do just that.”
The competition to be second-ranked Clemson’s starting quarterback was much different this year as opposed to last year when Bryant ran away with the job from former Tigers Hunter Johnson and Zerrick Cooper.
This year, Bryant and Lawrence were in an intense competition, one that will continue during the season.
“Go play well,” Swinney said. “The best thing is they are really in control of that and they are both very prepared to do just that. If they will just do what they did in camp, which has been awesome to see … I have never had a camp with this type of quarterback play.”
Overall, Swinney believes this year’s competition will be good for Clemson in the long run.
“I’m pulling for them. When they run out there, they’re Tigers,” he said. “We are going to play more than one running back. I want them all to play well. We are going to play a lot more than four D-linemen, and I want them to all play well. We are going to play a lot more than five offensive linemen. We have eight, nine, ten receivers that deserve to play and will have opportunities to play. I want them to play well.
“With the quarterbacks, that is just where we are this year. We have really talented guys that have earned the opportunity to play and we should pull for them to play well.”