Thursday, April 17, 2014 11:52 AM
Clemson adds 4-star dual-threat quarterback to 2015 recruiting class
by David Hood
Senior Writer

One quarterback leaves, another walks through the door.

The Clemson coaching staff picked up a verbal commitment from 4-star quarterback Kelly Bryant out of Piedmont (SC) Wren Thursday morning, filling a need after the departure of quarterback Chad Kelly earlier this week.

Bryant becomes the 11th commitment for the 2015 recruiting cycle, and is the fifth to give his verbal in the last week. He joins Orlando (Fla.) Lake Nona three-star Tucker Israel as the second quarterback commit in the class.

He told TigerNet the decision was an easy one.

“I’ve just been sitting down with my family the last few days, and going through situations,” Bryant said. “Trying to find the best fit, where I can get the best education. And, see myself having success on and off the field. That was Clemson.”

The 6-4, 205-pound Bryant said he made the call to the Clemson coaches first thing Thursday morning.

“I called Coach (Chad) Morris and he told me to call Coach Dabo (Swinney), and I made the commitment,” he said. “They told me they were happy for me, congratulating me and welcoming me to the Clemson family. They were telling me what the commitment means. They were telling what all of this means.”

Clemson offered Bryant two years ago while he was still an option quarterback at Abbeville (S.C.). A cousin of former Clemson receiver Martavis Bryant, he kept his desire to attend Clemson quiet while he weighed all of his options.

He picked Clemson over Florida, N.C. State, Virginia, and Virginia Tech - the other finalists in his top five released last weekend – but said Clemson was the leader all along.

“Clemson was the leader. I was just going back and forth,” Bryant said. “Not much difference. But then I talked to Coach Dabo and Coach Morris and those phone calls finalized everything for me. I knew Clemson was where I needed to be.”

He said that the departure of Chad Kelly earlier in the week didn’t play much of a part in helping make his decision.

“It didn’t play much of a part. I trusted the coaching staff there at Clemson,” Bryant said. “They have been honest with me since they started recruiting me, and that was one of the major components of me committing. Being short on quarterbacks was one of the factors, but it wasn’t one of the major factors.”

Bryant completed 196 of 322 passes (60.9 percent) for 2,805 yards and 28 touchdowns to nine interceptions while also rushing for 1,251 yards and 19 scores. He gave TigerNet a brief scouting report.

“I’m a dual-threat kind of guy. I can make plays with both my feet and my arm, and I can go through my reads,” Bryant said. “Get the ball out to the best guy in space and let them make plays from there. “

Quarterback instructor Ramon Robinson at RR Elite Quarterback Academy has worked with Bryant since early in Bryant’s sophomore year, and he said that the Clemson coaches are getting an athlete who will only get better.

“They are getting a selfless, hard-working, very respectful young man,” Robinson said. “He is a student of the game and a quick learner. The best is yet to come from this kid. The future is in front of him. If I had to do a comparison with him, I would have to say Cam Newton. That’s what I’ve seen, because of his size. When he gets to college and gets on a serious weight program, he can be 220 pounds. And he runs like a deer. He is a true dual-threat – he can throw it as well as run it. The sky is the limit.”

Junior Highlights from HUDL

NamePOSHt/WtHometownESPN Rank
Mitch Hyatt PhotoMitch HyattOT6-6/270Suwannee, GA
Kelly Bryant PhotoKelly BryantQB6-4/205Piedmont, SC
Noah Green PhotoNoah GreenOT6-5/275Boiling Springs, SC
Van Smith PhotoVan SmithATH/RB6-0/170Charlotte, NC
Shadell Bell PhotoShadell BellWR6-3/190Decatur, GA
Tucker Israel PhotoTucker IsraelQB6-1/195Orlando, FL
Jake Fruhmorgen PhotoJake FruhmorgenOT6-5/280Tampa, FL
Tanner Muse PhotoTanner MuseLB/S6-4/205Belmont, NC
Kaleb Chalmers PhotoKaleb ChalmersCB5-11/170Greenwood, SC
Chad Smith PhotoChad SmithLB6-4/215Sterling, VA
Gage Cervenka PhotoGage CervenkaDT6-3/280Greenwood, SC--

David Hood can be reached at davidhood@tigernet.com