Clemson's Dabo Swinney said the reason former quarterback Kelly Bryant didn't get a national championship ring was because he was no longer part of the Tigers team.

By Charlotte Carroll
August 07, 2019

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said Wednesday that the reason former quarterback Kelly Bryant didn't get a national championship ring was because he was no longer part of the Tigers team.

"He wasn't on the team. You've gotta be on the team to get a ring," Swinney told ESPN. "I love Kelly and appreciate what he did for us, but he decided to move on."

Bryant, who is now a graduate transfer at Missouri, elected to transfer late last September. Bryant's decision to leave came just days after Swinney announced that then freshman Trevor Lawrence would be the starting quarterback. Bryant had started the first four games of the season, but Lawrence was named the starter following a four-touchdown game against Georgia Tech. Lawrence then led Clemson to a 15–0 record and the national championship against Alabama after taking over as starter. 

At the time of his departure, Bryant called Lawrence being named starter "kind of a slap in the face" to everything he'd done for Clemson. 

Swinney told ESPN on Wednesday he has not spoken with Bryant since he left Clemson, but he expressed hope to do so in the future when the time is right and wished Bryant success at Missouri. Last month, Bryant told ESPN he still keeps in contact with some of his Tigers teammates and would accept a ring if offered. 

Bryant was 16–2 as a starter at Clemson.

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