By all accounts Dabo Swinney is softening his stance on the transfer portal.
Since its inception, the Clemson head coach was adamant about not turning to the portal in an effort to acquire talent. However, over time, Swinney's mindset has changed. Now more than ever before he is open to the idea of bringing in a transfer, but only if the situation warrants such a move.
Entering the spring the Tigers had just two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster in D.J. Uiagalelei and Taisun Phommachanh, as well as walk-on sophomore Hunter Helms. Having just three bodies at the most important position is never ideal, but Swinney said after Friday's scrimmage that he is satisfied with what the Tigers currently have at quarterback and has no immediate plans of bringing in a transfer.
"No, I mean, unless somebody left," Swinney said. "We can't go recruit high school kids in May, so if somebody packed up and left on us we have no choice."
Taisun Phommachanh is now heading into his third season in the program and Swinney insists that he is extremely confident in the rising junior taking that next step in his development and being a crucial piece to the Tigers' team next season.
"We recruited... We believe in Taisun Phommachanh," Swinney said. "He's a guy that, he's gonna be a redshirt sophomore, you know, he was the third guy last year, but he's a critical piece to what we're trying to do, and we're excited about his development."
There's no denying the fact that Phommachanh's development has been slower than many had anticipated. Swinney said that not getting a full spring and fall last season really hampered the quarterback's progress.
"Didn't get a full spring last year," Swinney said. "Didn't get a proper summer, skills and drills, all those type of things, and that's huge. D.J. is an elite elite talent. Just because he won that backup job last year, that's not a knock against Taisun."
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According to the 247 Composite Rankings Phommachanh came to Clemson ranked as one of the five-best dual threat quarterbacks in the 2019 recruiting class. Swinney said that while it hasn't translated into success on the field just yet, there is no doubt that the skillset is there.
"Taisun is got a chance to be a great player and he's got a chance to help this team this year," Swinney said. "We're gonna need him. We need his skill set. And there's some things that he brings to the table that that excites you. So if he'll just continue to come along I think he's got a chance to be an outstanding player here."
Another reason the Clemson head coach said he won't pursue a quarterback via the transfer portal is the fact that help is one the way. The Tigers signed two quarterbacks in the 2021 recruiting class and both will be on campus this fall.
"As far as the portal, we got two guys coming in here this summer," Swinney said. We've got Bubba Chandler coming in here and we got Will Taylor. So, we're excited about that. We got a young man named Billy Wiles coming in, so we've got some other guys... help on the way. It'll be a lot of competition this fall."
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