Kelly Bryant took a quick sigh of relief after being named Clemson’s starting quarterback over the weekend. That was all he allowed.
Bryant got the news from coach Dabo Swinney and quarterbacks coach Brandon Streeter following Saturday’s scrimmage.
The junior called his parents to deliver the good news, but the celebration was short-lived as Bryant knows he must play well to remain Clemson’s starting quarterback.
“It was an honor for them to finally say it, but like I said, still work to be done,” Bryant said Wednesday. “I’m happy to be in the position I am right now and I’m going to take advantage of each opportunity I have.”
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Bryant went into the offseason as the favorite to win the starting quarterback job and maintained his lead throughout the spring and summer.
With Deshaun Watson moving on to the NFL and backup Nick Schuessler graduating, Bryant knew he would be given every opportunity to be the man at QB. He committed himself this offseason to doing everything he could to win the starting job. All of the work resulted in Bryant accomplishing his goal.
“I feel like all the grinding, late nights, working with the guys, working by myself, it’s paying off,” he said. “It’s great to see the progress finally showing. I just want to see it keep going from here.”
One area Bryant felt he needed to improve was the mental side of his game.
He has always been an impressive athlete but needed to step up in terms of leading the Tigers offense.
“I’ve been more in the film room, grinding trying to see different defensive schemes that we see throughout the season,” Bryant said. “And also on the practice field, just mentally, being a smarter player.”
Clemson receiver Deon Cain, who could be Bryant’s go-to target, has seen a difference in the former Wren High star.
“I’m really excited about it. He earned it throughout this camp and everybody’s got a lot of confidence in him. He’s been looking great out here every day,” Cain said. “I already knew what kind of worker he was. … He was behind Deshaun Watson so I know he learned a lot just about preparation and everything. I’m not too shocked about his production right now.”
Cain said the entire team is behind Bryant and is excited to see what he can accomplish leading Clemson’s offense.
“We all really had a feel of who was going to be the starting quarterback,” Cain said. “I’m proud of him and his production and I’m ready to go into the season with him. I’m locked and loaded on Kelly. I’m ready to get to the first game and see how it goes. I already know I’m comfortable with him so we’re going to have a show going.”