One of the biggest storylines to come out of Clemson's spring was the injury to backup quarterback Taisun Phommachanh and the effect it has on depth at the most important position on the field.
Phommachanh's injury leaves the Tigers paper-thin behind starter D.J. Uiagalelei, leaving walk-on sophomore Hunter Helms as the only other quarterback currently on the roster.
Help is on the way, but how much is still in question. Three quarterbacks are set to arrive on campus this summer but two of those, Will Taylor and Bubba Chandler, are both potentially first-round picks in the July MLB Draft.
The third is Billy Wiles, who is currently attempting to lead unbeaten Stone Ridge High to a state title. Despite being a late addition to the 2021 class, the preferred walk-on could be one of the more important pieces of the class when all is said and done.
The 6-foot-3, 200-pound quarterback out of Virginia is aware of the possibility that he could be the only quarterback to join the Tigers this summer. He told AllClemson.com that while he doesn't pay much attention to that kind of stuff, he is excited about the opportunity such a situation might present.
"I haven't really paid attention to it really," Wiles said. "I think it's a cool thing, you know, to be going in with more pressure than you kind of initially expected because that means you're gonna be able to compete. I mean, like I thrive under pressure, so that's something that's kind of helped me. The goal is for me to go there and earn a scholarship."
Wiles first started developing a relationship with offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell back in late October, early November and said it didn't take long for that initial contact to turn into something special.
"The first person I talked to was Coach Caldwell," Wiles said. "So we kind of got to talking, then he connected me with Coach (Brandon) Streeter and then the relationship kind of grew from there. About two weeks in, just kind of building that relationship, I got the preferred walk-on (offer)."
Wiles had full scholarship offers from more than a dozen schools, but the opportunity to play at Clemson was something the young quarterback just couldn't pass up. Wiles said that the genuineness of the coaching staff, particularly with head coach Dabo Swinney, and the family-like atmosphere was something that really separated the Tigers from everyone else.
"The other schools that recruited me, their coaches were awesome," Wiles said. "The thing with Clemson is, it's kind of an all-around thing. All the coaches are together and they're all just awesome people and Coach Swinney is as advertised, and that's the thing for me."
"It was just the fact that Clemson was kind of a dream of mine. When the offer was presented to me I couldn't really turn it down. Obviously, the campus is awesome, the coaches are awesome. A really big piece of it for me, it's just the atmosphere and the fans. You meet anyone at Clemson, everyone is an honest person. The people there really put them over the top."
At the moment Wiles is looking forward to attempting to finish off his senior season with a state title. 7-0 Stone Ridge is set to face 6-2 William Fleming in the semifinal round of the state playoffs on Saturday.
After that, he's very much looking forward to getting to Clemson and just having the opportunity to compete.
"So I'm just gonna go there and compete and try to earn a scholarship, and that's my goal."
One of the biggest storylines to come out of Clemson's spring was the injury to backup quarterback Taisun Phommachanh and the effect it has on depth at the most important position on the field. Subscribe for full article
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