Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said he and Kelly Bryant talked about a lot of things in their conversation Monday afternoon on why the coaches decided to start freshman Trevor Lawrence over the senior on Saturday when the second-ranked Tigers host Syracuse at Death Valley.
However, Swinney would not clearly say if Bryant, who was given the day off from practice on Monday, spoke about transferring.
With the new transfer rules in place, players can now transfer after four games. Bryant, who has not redshirted, could sit out the remainder of the season and would be eligible to transfer to another school. If he were to do so, he would be eligible as a graduate transfer and could play immediately.
“We talked about a lot of things,” Swinney said. “Like I said, it was emotional. There were a lot of things we did talk about.”
Swinney said if he was worried about Bryant transferring or was a deceitful person, he could have gone out and said Bryant was going to start against Syracuse on Monday, assuring the senior could not transfer. However, that is not who he is.
“I could have huddled the coaches up and said let’s make sure we start him for Syracuse. That way he is locked,” Swinney said. “That is not how I operate. I do not operate that way. I’m just trying to do what is right and I am not ever going to apologize for that.
“We talked about a lot of things. It was a deep, long, emotional conversation and it was something that we needed to talk through.”
Swinney said if Bryant walked into his office today and said he wanted to transfer unless they needed to have him, the Clemson coach would grant him his transfer.
“If that is what he wanted to do, I would be all for it. I love Kelly,” the Clemson coach said. “I would be disappointed in that, in him leaving, but I would not judge him for that.”
When asked if Bryant conveyed wanting to transfer in the conversation, Swinney said, “No.”
“We just talked. We talked a lot about a lot of things. I don’t have any doubt that he will be right here and he will be ready to go.”