A lot of Clemson Tigers fans were hoping that spring football practice would bring clarity to a complicated quarterback situation.
Incumbent starter Kelly Bryant returns and remains the favorite to remain in that role. But Trevor Lawrence, the No. 1 overall player in the Class of 2018, and Hunter Johnson, a former 5-star prospect in his second year in the program, are trying to insert themselves into the conversation.
Then there’s rising sophomore Chase Brice.
However, with just three practices remaining before the spring game on Saturday, Clemson is no closer to naming a starting quarterback — and the coaches are not concerned. And that’s the tone they should be taking, because they’ve gained something more valuable from the uncertainty than they could have from declaring a winner.
“It is. We’ve got four guys that can spin it. I think Coach [Dabo] Swinney’s made the comment and I second the comment,” Clemson co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott said, according to Dave Hood of TigerNet.com. “We can win with any four of those guys and I’ve been here going on 10 years and there are some years you’ve had 1.5 quarterbacks and you’re hoping your starter doesn’t get hurt. We’ve been very fortunate we didn’t have some injuries at quarterback and this is really the first time that we’ve had multiple guys, not just depth, but guys who can go out and truly win for you. Just the way they compete with each other, it’s a healthy competition.
“One of them goes in there and throws a strike for a touchdown and the next one comes in there and tries to match it. That’s really the model of what we want our program to be and for guys to be focused on being their best. And we talk all the time about not being worried about our opponent. We’re not measuring ourselves against an opponent, we’re measuring ourselves to be the best team we can be and it’s the same attitude when they get those guys out there and compete.”
Ultimately, the Tigers will need a clear plan for what they’re going to do at the position by the time the season kicks off. However, it makes sense that they’d use this competition (or even the semblance of competition) to make a deep and talented quarterback room as good as it’s ever been.