The Next Cam?
|Wednesday, April 1, 2015, 10:38 AM- -|
The Next Cam?
In this industry we love comparisons. Every minor league baseball phenom is being compared to an Albert Pujols or a Mickey Mantle or Sandy Koufax. In basketball we love the Michael and LeBron comparisons. Heck, on signing day each year I compare each signee to a former Clemson player on Tigernet.
These comparisons are difficult because there has never been an exact replica of any player. Bodies may look similar. Styles may be close. However, everyone is different.
With that stated, Clemson's true freshman quarterback prospect Kelly Bryant has an easy comparison in my mind. Maybe its his body and the potential of what his body may look like in the future. Maybe its his style. Maybe its his number. But boy does Bryant remind me of a very young Cam Newton.
To be fair, I need to remind you that I said a very young Cam Newton. Most of the world did not see Newton until his red-shirt junior season in Auburn. Most did not see him in high school. Most did not watch him at Florida, before he stole a laptop. We didn't see him in his days as a junior college quarterback.
America was introduced to Newton as a junior at Auburn where he won the Heisman Trophy and won the national title.
To be clear, let's pump the brakes. I am not saying Bryant will win the Heisman or lead the Tigers to a national championship. What I am saying is that he reminds me of a Newton before the advanced development.
Today Newton is 6-5 and 245 pounds. Bryant is at least 6-4 and currently weighs 215 pounds. I can see him getting in that 235 pound range before he is called on to play a major role here. He is one of the best looking physical specimens on this team.
I saw Bryant play several times at Wren High School and loved his potential. I loved his poise and composure in the pocket. I loved his ability to make a big play happen when the original play broke down. I really liked how he could extend a play and buy extra time. What I really love was Bryant's ability to run after he escapes the pocket.
There is a lot to learn. Who knows how he will read defenses? Who knows how he will handle quick decisions? Who knows how he will progress and develop?
He is not a polished passer at this point, but I have to believe he is better at this stage than Nick Marshall was at Auburn, or should I say as at another position when he was at Georgia.
I remember Tajh Boyd looking lost very early in his career. But here is the good news, outside of an injury to Deshaun Watson, there is no rush for Bryant. Watson might be the best to ever play at Clemson. Watson's time is now and we will see him for at least two more years. The next two years we may see the best player in college football at quarterback in Clemson.
So Kelly doesn't have to be ready right now. But when his time comes, I am excited that his potential may be a key in keeping this program going after Watson's brilliant playing days are over.
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