As it turns out, the questions surrounding the depth behind D.J. Uiagalelei might have been premature.
As soon as Taisun Phommachanh went down with a torn Achilles late in the spring game, the questions started to mount. With walk-on Hunter Helms as the only other quarterback on the roster with even minimal playing experience, many wondered if Dabo Swinney would finally have to dip into the transfer portal and find another arm.
However, the Tigers stood pat. Quarterback's coach Brandon Streeter stressed that he in fact already had enough arms, even though there was so little experience, and that he was excited about the challenge of having guys like Billy Wiles and Will Taylor ready to go in time for the season-opening matchup against Georgia.
It also appears that Phommachanh will be back much sooner than originally anticipated. Head coach Dabo Swinney told the media ahead of fall camp they would be amazed by the quarterback's progress once they saw him on the practice field.
"He is another miracle," Swinney said. "Honestly, it's just amazing how he has responded to the treatment."
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Throughout the first three days of fall camp, Phommachanh has not resembled a player that suffered such a serious injury less than five months ago. He's been taking part in most of the workouts so far, something Swinney attributes to how hard Phommachanh has worked in rehab.
"Everybody's different," Swinney said. "First of all, we all respond differently to rehab and things like that. But then the type of work that he's put in, the type of sacrifice and discipline that he's applied to his training in recovery has been amazing. He looks great."
Swinney doesn't have a specific date just yet regarding when Phommachanh will be fully cleared, but he is confident in the fact that it will be much sooner than expected.
"He's been cleared to do certain aspects of practice as well," Swinney said. "I don't have a date or anything, I'll just say he's gonna be back sooner than later. And, you know, what went from an immediate, like horrible, mindset in the spring, then summer came along, and it's like wow. Excited he will have an opportunity to be back."
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