Dabo "Ran Out Of Reasons" To Start Bryant

Kelly Bryant did a lot for Clemson, but Trevor Lawrence "is the truth"

September 27, 2018 - 8:48 am

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Four weeks into the season, Dabo Swinney has made his decision: Trevor Lawrence will start for Clemson.

And Kelly Bryant will transfer. 

“Each guy is doing what is best for them,” Sports Talk South Carolina host Will Palaszczuk said on Ferrall on the Bench. “Dabo has a responsibility to the other 84 scholarship guys in that room to make the best decision, and I think their best decision is to roll with Trevor Lawrence. This was never going to be a situation where you could play both of these guys equal snaps throughout the year and it not be an issue.”

Swinney gave both quarterbacks a chance to win the job. Lawrence, a true freshman, was simply better.

“Not that they didn’t say all the right things – both players and the coaching staff – not that they didn’t say all the right things on the outside, but you could tell just from body language over the course of these last couple of games Kelly was kind of a little frustrated,” Palaszczuk said. “He would be high-fiving Trevor on the sideline, but you knew he didn’t necessarily want to be on the bench and on the sidelines. Basically, it got to a point where Dabo ran out of reasons to be using Kelly as a starter other than the loyalty angle and the senior angle.”

Kelly was 16-2 as a starter and led Clemson to the College Football Playoff. He called his demotion “a slap in the face.’

“I have no problem with him transferring,” Palaszczuk said. “I don’t like the way he went out, but I can understand his emotions. He’s a kid, he wants to play, and I understand he feels like he had something taken from him. But he learned an unfortunate, real-life lesson: sometimes somebody who comes in behind you can be better than you, and you just have to change your scenery and take the high road. He didn't do that.”

Lawrence has been a stud for No. 3 Clemson (4-0). He’s completed 65 percent of his passes for 600 yards, nine touchdowns and two interceptions.

“He is the truth,” Palaszczuk said. “That’s the thing that I saw from him (at) practice in (the) spring, and we saw it carry over to the fall. He took big, gigantic leaps in his intelligence through the offseason. I don’t know if he was necessarily ready to take over this team on day one, but you’ve seen the maturation process. The one thing that’s great about Lawrence is he never makes the same mistake twice.”

Bryant, meanwhile, had completed 66.7 percent of his passes for 461 yards, two touchdowns and a pick.

“While Kelly can throw the ball deep, he’s not nearly as accurate with it as Trevor,” Palaszczuk said. “The one thing that Kelly does bring you is the element of the running quarterback, the fact that he can call his own number. But the fact of the matter is, when Trevor is in there, so much more of the playbook is open. You can take the top off the defense, have the defense play on their heels, and those guys aren’t in the box. They can open up a lot more with Lawrence.”

Palaszczuk wasn’t surprised that Bryant has decided to transfer, but he’s surprised it’s happening now.

“I’m surprised it happened at this point in the season,” he said. “To me, I think if you look at everything that’s happened with Kelly Bryant, he was put in a spot where he had to follow a legend and then obviously he was in a situation where somebody came behind him who has as high a ceiling as the guy who he replaced.”

Clemson hosts Syracuse (4-0) this Saturday at 12 p.m. ET.