It's no secret that Clemson has some serious concerns regarding depth at the quarterback position.
Taisun Phommachanh's Achilles injury was a devastating blow, leaving just walk-on sophomore Hunter Helms and punter Will Spiers as the quarterbacks backing up D.J. Uiagalelei.
Bubba Chandler and Will Taylor, both signed as part of the 2021 recruiting class, are scheduled to arrive on campus this summer. As is Billy Wiles, who signed as a preferred walk-on.
However, Chandler and Taylor are both stars for their respective high school baseball teams, and both have seen their stock soar due to phenomenal senior seasons on the diamond. Both could find themselves with decisions to make.
With the MLB Draft set for July, Kiley McDaniel of ESPN ranked the Top-100 baseball prospects, with Taylor coming in at No. 19 and Chandler at No. 20.
Will Taylor No. 19:
"Taylor is a state championship quarterback, three-time state champion wrestler and now a consensus first-round talent as a center fielder. He's committed to Clemson for baseball and football, though likely to play a slot receiver role. He was solid over the summer as a dynamic athlete and 70 runner who made a lot of contact, then he came out this spring with a more developed upper body and 55-grade raw power."
Bubba Chandler No. 20:
"Chandler is also committed to Clemson but as a quarterback and is a top-50-pick talent as both a switch-hitting infielder and pitcher, though the vast majority of teams prefer him on the mound. He'll sit 93-96 and hit 97 mph early in starts and flash solid-average off-speed pitches with a solid delivery and feel, despite limited reps. Having a real backup option if the position you select him for doesn't work out might get him picked 10-12 slots higher than a comparable prospect."
This isn't the first time Dabo Swinney has dealt with depth concerns at the quarterback position. After the transfer of Kelly Bryant during the Tigers 2018 national title season, Swinney's team was left with just two scholarship quarterbacks in Trevor Lawrence and Chase Brice, both of which were true freshman. Hunter Renfrow was third on the depth chart.
It is quite possible that both Chandler and Taylor hear their names called fairly early in the upcoming MLB Draft and this time the coaching staff has the advantage of knowing what they are dealing with ahead of time.
This could be the time that Swinney decides to dip into the transfer portal. Rumors are swirling that the staff has already reached out to at least one quarterback in the portal.
Finding the right guy who checks all the boxes this coaching staff will be looking for might be easier said than done. Most players that enter the portal do so because they are looking for more playing time, or at the very least a chance to compete for a starting job.
That holds especially true when dealing with quarterbacks. D.J. Uiagalelei is firmly entrenched as the Tigers' starting quarterback and any player the coaches bring in will have to be satisfied coming in to play the role of a backup.
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