The answer to the most-asked question of Clemson’s offseason became a reality Monday, as the Tigers announced Kelly Bryant will retain his starting job at quarterback to begin the 2018 season.
Bryant had been locked in a heavy battle with true freshman Trevor Lawrence and redshirt-freshman Chase Brice for the position, but Bryant had taken most of the first-team reps during the Spring and Fall practice periods.
Head Coach Dabo Swinney said as recently as Thursday that no matter who wins the job, he’s not afraid to play multiple quarterbacks or re-evaluate the pecking order throughout the season.
It’s expected that all three quarterbacks will get time in Clemson’s opening game against Furman (Saturday, 12:21 PM, ACCN).
There was also some intrigue at running back as Adam Choice surpassed Tavien Feaster as the second-team running back behind starter Travis Etienne.
For more on the quarterback battle as well as the decision to elevate Choice, here’s Co-Offensive Coordinator Tony Elliott from Monday’s press availability:
Bryant says nothing has changed in his mindset after the announcement, as he’s always prepared like he was the starter:
Also on offense, Hunter Renfrow, Amari Rodgers and Tee Higgins lead a receiving corps that could have as many as nine or ten key contributors throughout the year.
Tight end will continue to be a battle as Milan Richard and Garrett Williams will split starting duties in front of JC Chalk and freshman Braden Galloway.
On the offensive line, John Simpson elevates to start at left guard for the first time, with freshman Jackson Carman making the depth as a second-team offensive tackle.
As for the defense there were few surprises as Clemson returns it’s entire starting front four from a year ago. At linebacker, both Kendall Joseph and Tre Lamar retained their starting jobs, with Isiah Simmons moving into the nickel/linebacker hybrid position vacated by Dorian O’Daniel.
In the secondary, AJ Terrell and Trayvon Mullen will start at cornerback with Tanner Muse staying at his starting spot at free safety. K’Von Wallace takes over for Van Smith (early departure to the NFL) at strong safety.
For a look at the defensive depth chart, here’s Brent Venables from Monday’s press availability:
Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney will address the media on game week for the first time on Tuesday in advance of Saturday afternoon’s game against Furman.
To see a link to the whole depth chart, click here.