In the first half of No. 3 Clemson’s game against Syracuse, the Tigers’ quarterback situation got even more interesting. New starting quarterback Trevor Lawrence left the game in the first half with an injury after taking a big hit after lowering his shoulder. This came just three days after veteran Kelly Bryant announced he’d be transferring, following Lawrence being named the Tigers’ starter.
With Lawrence’s injury, it begs the question — could Bryant come back to Clemson?
Before the third quarter started, ESPN reporter Holly Rowe asked Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney if he would have Bryant back. His response, well, was pretty enthusiastic:
“Heck yeah, I love that kid.”
But after the game, Swinney had this to say when he was asked about Bryant:
Dabo is done answering questions about Kelly Bryant: pic.twitter.com/TEvF47rn6c— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) September 29, 2018
One big question surrounding the possibility was whether or not Bryant is still enrolled at Clemson.
While the Tigers were still playing against Syracuse, Clemson confirmed to SB Nation that Bryant is still enrolled.
The senior quarterback graduated from undergrad last spring, but he is listed on Clemson’s student directory as a graduate student with the school’s athletic leadership program.
So technically, he could still return to the team if he wanted to.
As for Bryant’s whereabouts, he isn’t too far away.
Bryant’s former high school football coach, Jeff Tate, confirmed to SB Nation that the quarterback was in attendance for alma mater Wren High School’s home game against Pickens High School the night prior. Bryant’s hometown of Piedmont, S.C. lies about 30 minutes east of Clemson.
The next big question: would Bryant want to return?
The seriousness of Lawrence’s injury is one factor Bryant would probably consider. If Lawrence were to only miss a game or two, should that really change anything for Bryant?
Sure, Bryant likely wouldn’t start as long as Lawrence is healthy, but he’d probably still play some. The team ran a successful two-QB system in the weeks prior to the roster change, and Alabama’s finding plenty of snaps for its own backup QB after a somewhat similar change.
It’s also worth noting Bryant wasn’t pleased with Swinney’s decision at the time, saying he didn’t feel he got a fair shot to keep his job.
As for Clemson fans, it sounds like at least some of them wouldn’t have a problem with Bryant returning.
Former South Carolina governor and Clemson alum:
For now, Lawrence’s back-up, former three-star prospect Chase Brice, is the guy.