Kelly Bryant remains the favorite to win Clemson’s starting quarterback job, but even if the junior takes the first snap against Kent State on Sept. 2, he likely won’t be the only Tigers quarterback to play.
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said after Tuesday’s practice he will give multiple quarterbacks an opportunity early on this season.
“If we played today there’s no question Kelly is starting for us, but we will play somebody else, too. We don’t have anybody else with any experience,” Swinney said. “We’ve got to find a way to get somebody else some experience, especially here in September. The last thing we want to do is get to October and not have anybody that’s played.”
Bryant is ahead of redshirt freshman Zerrick Cooper and true freshman Hunter Johnson, outplaying them in fall camp, according to Swinney. But the quarterback battle is far from over.
“Kelly is the starter. He’s been the most consistent. He’s graded the best. He’s earned it,” Swinney said. “You get what you earn around here. Camp’s not over. Every rep and every practice counts. We’re not anointing anybody. Even if he’s the starter for the season he’s got to go do it on game day, and then he’s got to be consistent with that.”
SWINNEY IMPRESSED WITH AUBURN QB
Auburn announced Jarrett Stidham as its starting quarterback on Monday, which came as no surprise to Swinney.
Stidham was rated as a five-star quarterback coming out of high school before playing his freshman season at Baylor. He passed for 1,265 yards as a true freshman for the Bears and then transferred to McLennan Community College in 2016.
“He’s a good player. A really good player,” Swinney said. “We watched the spring game. We get clips here and there from support guys that pull stuff together for us. He’s an outstanding quarterback. You don’t go to Auburn and win that job unless you’re a pretty good player.”
WALK-ON EARNS SCHOLARSHIP
Tigers walk-on offensive lineman Pat Godfrey was awarded a scholarship on Monday.
The New York native logged snaps against S.C. State, Syracuse and South Carolina last season and is a redshirt graduate.
“Patrick is quite a young man. He came here with a lot of credit hours and graduated in just two years,” Swinney said. “He is now in graduate school and will leave here with an undergraduate degree and masters. He is a great teammate and we were glad to give him a scholarship.”
Godfrey added it’s a big honor to be rewarded for his hard work.
“It was incredible. I was having a really tough day and God just kind of blessed me,” Godfrey said. “It was an incredible feeling. I started hysterically crying. It was one of the best moments of my life. I had no idea whatsoever.”