Senior quarterback Kelly Bryant has officially decided to transfer out of the Clemson program and seek one year of eligibility at another school. No schools have been announced or disclosed as of yet.
Manie Robinson of The Greenville News released an article this morning stating that Kelly Bryant indicated he intends to transfer from the program after an exclusive interview with the senior quarterback.
After phenom-frosh Trevor Lawrence was named the starter for the Tigers' game against Syracuse on Saturday, Dabo Swinney gave Kelly Bryant Monday night off so he could gather himself.
"It's a tough day but...it's just where we are," Swinney said in his weekly Tuesday press conference. "I've told yall...if there was a change, we'd probably all know it. And that's what happened Saturday.....Kelly didn't do anything wrong. Trevor just exceeded. The productivity and sheer data."
Swinney alluded to how difficult it was to tell his senior quarterback that he would not be starting on Saturday. "It's a bad day to be the head coach....most days it good. But today it's a bad day."
"I love Kelly. It was emotional. Emotional for him. Tough day. I gave him the day off last night....I met with him yesterday afternoon. Streeter had already met with him on Sunday and talked through it.....We met yesterday afternoon and it was emotional. It was tough. It was tough."
"As long as I've been at Clemson, there's not a guy that's more committed to this program than Kelly Bryant. There's not a better leader. He's the epitome of what you want your son to be like. I love him, like a son. So it's a very difficult conversation....and he's very disappointed. But I don't have any doubt that he'll show up and go back to work and respond."
With the new redshirt rule that was put in place this offseason, student-athletes now have the option to play four games and still maintain a year of eligibility should they decide to redshirt and not participate in any more than four games.
Kelly Bryant has already played in four games this year so if he steps onto the field and plays even a single snap on Saturday, he would void that option to redshirt and this would be his final season of collegiate football.
After being given Monday night off by the coaching staff, it was reported by multiple sources that Bryant did not practice on Tuesday night (also his birthday) either. That led to many questions about the very real possibility that Bryant could transfer out of the program.
That possibility became real today as it was announced that he would be leaving the Clemson football program to pursue a year of eligibility elsewhere.
There has already been a lot of buzz and predictions about possible landing spots for Bryant. One popular choice being the Tennessee Volunteers.
Many Vols fans took to Twitter on Tuesday night vying for Kelly Bryant to come to Knoxville.
Bryant has been a fighter his whole life. In a story done by ESPN, they highlighted why Kelly Bryant doesn't "sweat the small stuff or the big stuff that comes with replacing a quarterback legend."
In 2014, Bryant wasn't feeling well during a basketball game of his at Wren High School. He sat in the locker room sick and said he saw blood in his throw-up. Doctors ended up finding a softball sized abscess blocking Bryant's lower intestine and he had to get emergency surgery done.
It was a bi-product of Crohn's Disease. If the abscess were to burst, it could have killed Bryant. He had to undergo a second surgery at a later date and eventually recovered from it and the rest, as they say, is history.
In his time at Clemson, Bryant sat behind the greatest quarterback in the school's history in Deshaun Watson, who brought the University it's first National Title since 1981. And when he got his chance to start last season, the expectations were at a whole new level compared to when he entered the program.
"Man, they really not giving me a chance. Now I just gotta go to work. Now I just gotta silence the critics," Bryant stated in ESPN's piece they put together detailing his story. Clemson defensive end, Clelin Ferrell also stated in the video, "Theres not a player in this country who's gone through the amount of pressure on him that Kelly has."
Bryant has faced immense pressure this past offseason with the next big phenom in Trevor Lawrence coming into Tiger Town. He's had to battle for his spot since spring and a large portion of the Clemson fan base has rooted for him to fail - being in favor of the frosh star.
It was reported by Matt Connolly of The State Newspaper, that Bryant had considered transferring this past offseason but ultimately decided to stick it out at Clemson and earned the starting spot for the opening game against Furman.
Up until this point, Bryant had done what he needed to do to keep his role as starting quarterback for the Tigers. Now, in the face of more adversity, Bryant has decided to yet again face it head on, but do so in a new setting.
"As long as I've been at Clemson, there's not a guy that's more committed to this program than Kelly Bryant. There's not a better leader," Swinney said in his Tuesday presser. "He's the epitome of what you want your son to be like. I love him, like a son."
His decision to leave should not be viewed as him quitting on his team because that is the farthest thing from the truth. It is a move that he believes will best benefit him.
There is no doubt that wherever Kelly Bryant ends up, he will continue to fight to the best of his ability and that he will be successful in whatever he puts his mind to doing.
[update from Wednesday media availability; 09.26.18]
On Wednesday evening Dabo met with the media for the last time before Saturday. The majority of the questions asked were centered around the quarterback situation and Kelly Bryant.
The most notable things learned was that Bryant notified Dabo of his intent to transfer via a text message. Bryant had attended the team meetings on Tuesday but did not show up for practice.
Out of concern for Bryant, Dabo said he called someone to check on him and make sure he was alright and eventually found out that he had just gone home after the meetings.
Swinney also expressed his opinion that he wishes Bryant was still here cause the team isn't better without him.
He gave an update on the quarterback room now as it stands. Lawrence is the starter followed by Chase Brice as the number two guy. The next in line is Ben Batson who is coming back from injury and Hunter Renfrow, who played quarterback at Socastee High School, would be number four with Derion Kendrick, who also played QB in high school, would be after him.
Swinney has said multiple times that he is disappointed with Bryant's decision to leave the team but respects the decision and acknowledges that it is his right to make the decision he thinks is best for him.