Clemson’s football team had 17 current players walk across the stage and receive their college degrees Thursday at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, S.C. However, there was also one former Tiger on hand, who finally got the opportunity to walk, even though he graduated in May.
Former quarterback Chase Brice got the opportunity to officially close the chapter on his Clemson experience when he joined his old teammates for Thursday’s ceremony. His opportunity came up during a recent conversation with Clemson President Jim Clements.
“I was super excited to hear from President Clements. We had been talking back and forth and he was wishing me luck on my next journey and anything he could do to help. So, I kind of just said, I did not get to walk because we had a game that weekend for the makeup (graduation) because I graduated in May. He said to hold that thought.
“So, he made some calls and he finally hit me back saying that he would love for me to walk and have that opportunity. So, I am super excited to be back and see some old faces.”
Brice transferred out of the Clemson program following last year’s national championship game. He ultimately ended up at Duke, where he started all 11 games for the Blue Devils this season.
However, the season did not go so well for Brice and Duke. The Blue Devils went 2-9, while Brice struggled in an offense that turned the football over at will. Brice was responsible for 15 of those turnovers, as he threw for just 2,170 yards and 10 touchdowns and competed 54.8 percent of his passes.
It was not all his fault. Duke quarterbacks were sacked 37 times this year, which ranked 14th in the ACC. It was reported earlier this week, Brice entered his name into the transfer portal.
But none of that was keeping Brice down on Thursday. He was happy and all smiles as he saw old teammates and friends before and after graduation.
“It is good to see a lot of people that I came in with and a lot of people I met on campus and developed relationships with,” he said. “So, for Clemson to be able to hold this graduation and have everybody socially distance the proper way, it is a special moment, and it matters to everybody. So, it is pretty cool.”
Brice said he was reminded that not everyone gets the opportunity to go to college, much less graduate from one.
“It doesn’t happen to everybody,” he said. “So, I am very grateful and blessed to be able to be a graduate, especially at Clemson.”
Brice, of course, will always be remembered for his heroic effort in the 2018 National Championship season, when he came in for an injured Trevor Lawrence against Syracuse and led the Tigers back from 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to win the game.
Clemson went on to become the first 15-0 team in major college football and the first since 1897.
It is time to get ready for another great Clemson Christmas. The best collection of Clemson ornaments and other fine gifts are available at Clemson Variety & Frame