Clemson Tigers senior QB Kelly Bryant, who went 16-2 as a starter and led Clemson to the College Football Playoff past year, has made a decision to transfer to another school after head coach Dabo Swinney announced that freshman QB Trevor Lawrence will be the starter moving forward. After missing the last two days of practice, many out there were speculating what exactly was going on with the senior quarterback.
After getting the nod to start the first four games, Bryant shared time over each contest with Lawrence.
Dabo Swinney spoke as highly of Kelly Bryant on Wednesday as a coach possibly could about a player breaking up with his program during the season.
Going forward, Swinney says he doesn't think Bryant's exit will affect the team.
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Bryant's departure is the fourth quarterback to leave the program following Tucker Israel, Zerrick Cooper and Hunter Johnson. "You just have to respect his decision, this is what he feels is best for him, even though you don't agree with it". Thanks to the new NCAA rules, Bryant has not played in more than four games this season and has a redshirt year available, which he can use for the 2018 campaign. I certainly could have started him this week, which would have limited his options, but that's not how we operate here. The Tigers' offense averaged 6.5 yards per play and 2.48 points per drive under Bryant, compared to 8.23 yards per play and 4.22 points per drive under Lawrence. I've been here. I've waited my turn.
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Bryant, who turned 22 on Tuesday, graduated this past May and has one more year of eligibility left. I wish him nothing but the best, and, again, sad that he has made this decision. I've never been in trouble with anything. But at the same time, I've got to do what's best for me. "To me, it was kind of a slap in the face".
"I feel like it's what's best for me and my future", Bryant said in an exclusive interview with The Greenville News.
"At the end of the day, this is not middle school", Swinney said.
As far as the decision, it's just - you know, as a coach, sometimes you have to make tough decisions that are in the best interest of the team, and this is one of those decisions.
This season new Clemson QB, Trevor Lawrence, had split snaps with Bryant after being beat out for the starting position in camp. Bryant is a local SC player, and it would not be farfetched for him to want to stay inside the state. Last season, he completed 262 of 398 passes for 2,802 yards with thirteen touchdowns and eight interceptions as he led the Tigers to their third consecutive appearance in the College Football Playoff (CFP). That's just where we are. Lawrence is 39 of 60 for 600 yards and two interceptions, is tied for second in the ACC with nine touchdown passes, and leads the conference with a 191.83 efficiency rating.