The Clemson Tigers have entered the "Transformation Phase" of their year. It's the time, over the summer, that they are expected to transform their bodies through summer workouts, their minds and prepare for the grind of a season that will hopefully culminate in lifting a trophy.
Today we look at the quarterback position and three players that need to have a transformational summer.
1. Hunter Helms: The walk-on from West Columbia is now suddenly thrust into the role of D.J. Uiagalelei's backup. Helms certainly looked the part in limited action last season, but that was an extremely small sample size and in mop-up duty.
By all accounts, Helms had a great spring and will now need to use the summer preparing as if he were the starting quarterback of one of the top program's in the country. In reality, Helms is just one play away from actually being the starter. Taking the next step in his development, mastering the playbook and making the effort to evolve into one of the leading voices in the locker room are of the utmost importance.
2. D.J. Uiagalelei: The rising sophomore is transitioning into his new role as the Tigers' starting quarterback and Uiagalelei will need to know every little detail of the offense. Playing the most important position on the field also means teammates will now be looking to him for leadership. Taking that next step towards becoming one of the leaders of the team will be important.
After the injury to Taisun Phommachanh, Clemson is paper-thin at the position, meaning one of Uiagalelei's biggest priorities is staying healthy. Many injuries are unavoidable but having himself in peak physical condition could possibly minimize the chance of Uiagalelei going down.
“I want to be the best out there for my team," Uiagalelei said after Clemson's spring game. "I want to be the best in the country. I feel like I will go into this off-season and really work at everything, every single part of my game. Running, throwing, lifting weights, getting stronger and faster.”
3. Bubba Chandler: Despite the rumors surrounding the coaching staff scouring the transfer portal in an effort to find another body at quarterback, Chandler just might be the most important recruit of the summer.
A stellar senior season for his high school baseball team has made Chandler a potential first round pick in the MLB Draft later this summer. Even if he falls out of the first round, Chandler is very likely going to have a difficult decision to make. Either way, Chandler is going to have a very busy summer having to juggle his responsibilities for both sports.
If he does eventually decide to enroll in school, Chandler will have to hit the ground running. That means spending the summer mentally preparing as if he was coming to Clemson, even if he never does.
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