Kelly Bryant named Clemson starting quarterback

Photo Courtesy of Justin Pondexter, Clemson Athletic Communications

Courtesy: Clemson Athletics

Clemson, S.C.—Kelly Bryant will be Clemson’s starting quarterback in the season opener against Kent State on September 2.  Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney made the announcement after practice on Monday.   Bryant had been listed as the first-team quarterback since the beginning of spring practice.

“Kelly Bryant is the starter,” said Swinney.    “He has earned it and I am proud of him.  It has been a great competition, but this part is over.  Zerrick Cooper is the number-two quarterback, but Hunter Johnson is right there.  We hope to get all three quarterbacks experience in the first part of the season.”   The plan at this time is to red-shirt freshman Chase Brice.

Bryant is a junior from Calhoun Falls, S.C. and Wren High School.   He has played 12 games and an even 100 snaps so far in his career.  He has completed 13-18 passes for 75 yards and a touchdown.  He has 35 rushes for 178 yards and three scores, giving him 253 yards of total offense on 53 plays for his career.  His first two years he served as a reserve behind Deshaun Watson and Nick Schuessler, who were both seniors on Clemson’s 2016 National Championship team.

Bryant played well in the two most recent scrimmages.  He was 10-17 for 186 yards and a score in the August 16 scrimmage, then connected on 14 of 20 for 177 yards and a score this past Saturday.

Swinney said that Will Spiers had won the punting position and will be on the field for the season opener against Kent State. His father, Bill Spiers, was Clemson’s starting punter in 1986 and went on to a 13-year Major League Baseball career.   Swinney also said that the right tackle competition between Sean Pollard and Tremayne Anchrum continues.

Swinney also mentioned some of the true freshmen that he expects to see action this year.    Travis Etienne, Justin Foster, Tee Higgins, Hunter Johnson, Amari Rodgers and A.J. Terrell are freshmen he expects to play this year.  There are other players who are on the bubble at this point in preseason.

Swinney was pleased with today’s practice overall.  “We turned the page today and started our preparation for Kent State.  Everyone was happy to see that.  This team is ready to play someone else.  The defense responded today.  There was attention to detail on that side of the ball and they put in a good day’s work.  I could sense the energy today.”

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