Clemson's QB situation far from settled, but Swinney pleased with talent on hand
|Friday, April 20, 2018, 12:01 PM- -|
While Clemson’s quarterback situation is far from settled, the Tigers are in a much better spot going into the offseason than they were a year ago.
Heading into the 2017 season, Clemson had Kelly Bryant – a junior who had only played in mop-up duty – Zerrick Cooper, Tucker Israel, early enrollee Hunter Johnson and Chase Brice, who was redshirting. In other words, Dabo Swinney and quarterbacks coach Brandon Streeter had no idea what they had.
“Last year we were starting over, and Kelly had no experience, and Hunter was just getting here, trying to figure it out so really Chase Brice was red-shirted and Trevor wasn't here,” Swinney said during the ACC teleconference. “So, I think we're going to be in a much better starting point than we were this time last year.”
This year, the Tigers return Bryant – who won 12 games as the starter – Johnson, Brice and the fan-favorite Trevor Lawrence. Swinney said he much prefers this situation – even including the quarterback controversy to 2017.
“Well, we've got a really good situation. Never had quite this type of situation where we've got really four guys that I think could go win with, literally,” Swinney said. “I think we could go win with any of those guys. I think they're all really working hard to be the best version of themselves. They're all at different spots.”
Despite what fans saw in last weekend’s Orange and White game, Swinney said all four quarterbacks had their good and their bad moments during the 15 spring practice.
“Great young men, very committed, very competitive situation and they all had some great moments in the spring,” he said. “They all had some not so great. We’re in the process of going through our meetings with those guys right now, and it's a very good situation. Kind of like some other positions on our team where we've got very, very good depth, very competitive depth. So should be fun.”
However, the competition to be Clemson’s starting quarterback probably won’t be resolved until the Fall.
“Obviously, Kelly's won a conference and taken us to the playoffs, and he's got great experience. The other guys are right there and battling. It's a great competition, and I don't have any doubt when it comes September we're goods to go in a much better situation,” he said.