Kelly Bryant is no longer a Clemson Tiger.
The Clemson quarterback, who learned he was not going to be the starter for Saturday’s game against Syracuse on Monday, has decided to transfer, The Clemson Insider has confirmed.
Bryant missed Tuesday’s practice, the second straight day in which he missed practice, which was a red-flag that he might be considering a transfer. Now we know he indeed is.
Bryant told The Greenville News on Wednesday leaving Clemson now is the best thing for him and his future.
With the NCAA changing transfer rules to benefit the student athletes even more, a player who has not used a redshirt can play up to four games in a season and still be eligible to redshirt and/or transfer to another school without using up that year of eligibility.
Bryant, who graduated in May, will have one year to play and will transfer as a graduate student.
Bryant is the fourth Clemson quarterback since January to transfer. Zerrick Cooper and Tucker Israel transferred in January and then Hunter Johnson transferred in May.
On Sunday, quarterbacks coach Brandon Streeter informed Bryant that freshman Trevor Lawrence was going to start Saturday’s game against Syracuse. On Monday, Swinney had an emotional meeting with Bryant in regards to their decision to start Lawrence over him.
Swinney excused Bryant from practice Monday afternoon. However, Bryant did not participate in practice on Tuesday, either.
On Wednesday, Bryant told The Greenville News that he felt as if he did not get a fair shot and that it was a slap in the face that he was demoted because he had been such a good player and teammate.
Bryant feels there was no reason for him to have lost his job. He said he did all he could do. He also said he has no ill will towards Lawrence. Citing the freshman was just competing and doing his job.
“It just came down to you got to award productivity,” Clemson co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott said on Monday. “If you look at (Lawrence’s) opportunities, he has taken advantage of them.”
Elliott insisted Bryant, who has started the last 18 games for second-ranked Clemson, did not do anything wrong.
“It is just a situation where he has been in the game and he has been productive,” Elliott said about Lawrence. “To be fair to competition, just like we do at every position, Coach decided to name him the starter for this game.”
Through four games, Lawrence has completed 65-percent of his 60 passes (39-of-60) for 600 yards. He has thrown nine touchdowns and two interceptions. He has a passer rating of 191.83
Bryant had completed 36-of-54 passes (66.7 percent) for 461 yards with just two touchdowns and one interception. However, he has thrown just two touchdowns to one interception and had a passer rating of 146.8.
In the last 18 games, Bryant has produced a 16-2 record as a starter, while leading the Tigers to an ACC Championship last year and to the College Football Playoff for a third straight year.