Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney is looking for to a "peaceful transition" of power when it comes to who will be the starting quarterback after a couple of bumpy transitions.
Kelly Bryant led Clemson to the College Football Playoff as a junior in 2017. He threw for 2802 yards and 13 touchdowns, adding another 11 scores on the ground. He was replaced by freshman Trevor Lawrence on Sept. 24, leading to the transfer decision.
Before Bryant is was former Tiger Deshaun Watson taking the job from incumbent Cole Stoudt.
"We know we have something special in that young man," Swinney said of Watson during his weekly Sunday-night teleconference. Swinney also said of the decision: "It's not as much what Cole did as it is what Deshaun did."
However, the transition from Lawrence to D.J. Uiagalelei should prove to be as stress-free as one could hope.
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"You know, not only is coming, we go into Deshaun got here, he had to win the job. When Trevor got here, you know, he had to go win the job. We had a lot of competition there," Swinney said. "The cool thing about DJ is, he's already played, you know, those guys had not played and he's already played, he's already started.
"He's had a front-row seat for a year to what it looks like, you know, first pick in the draft. How he prepared, handled himself. How he handled the failure, criticism, success, right, like, you know, just his life in general. And, and that is, I think is going to serve him well."
Adding to the ease of the transition is the maturity of the sophomore signal-caller.
"You know, everybody wants to start as a freshman type of mentality. And DJ probably could have started at about 125 schools, realistically, but he chose to come to Clemson," Swinney said. "He wanted to, to grow and develop and he wanted to learn from Trevor. And I think that speaks volumes have his mentality and his long-term goals, and just his maturity.
"So his experience last year is going to serve him well. And it's invaluable. But yeah, it's awesome to have a talent like that. That's not just starting from scratch. He's already had a year under his belt, and he's the guy."
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