Kelly Bryant made a decision that's best for his future. ESPN college football analyst Todd Blackledge hates it.
In the final minutes of the first half of Clemson's Week 5 game vs. Syracuse, the Tigers' true freshman quarterback, Trevor Lawrence, exited the game with an injury. That forced redshirt freshman Chase Brice, who had eight career passing attempts, into the game, and prompted Blackledge to make an idiotic statement.
After starting the first four games of the season, Bryant opted to transfer when Dabo Swinney named Lawrence their Week 5 starter. Bryant, who retained his final year of eligibility thanks to the NCAA's new four-game redshirt rule and, as a graduate, will be eligible immediately next season, has not yet announced his transfer destination. Bryant, however, did leave campus last week and was not at Clemson's game on Saturday.
"I feel like it's what's best for me and my future," Bryant said. "I was just going to control what I could control and try to make the most of my opportunity, but at the end of the day, I just don't feel like I've gotten a fair shot."
Bryant likely believes he needs a full year of snaps to showcase his skills for an NFL opportunity. Or maybe he just wants to play football. And Blackledge, a former student-athlete himself, doesn't understand that.
"Kelly Bryant had the right to make that decision . . . he thought [it] was necessary and important for him to play somewhere else for another year. He was still going to play here, but I think it just ends up being a very selfish decision because you don’t put the team first."
First, Todd, Bryant wasn't going to play at Clemson. Maybe garbage time here and there but Lawrence is the starter and will take all the meaningful snaps. Swinney didn't start Lawrence just so he could yank him in certain situations. You're lying to yourself if you believe Bryant had a big role in that offense.
Second, was it selfish? Maybe. Bryant is concerned with his future. What is wrong with that? If Bryant believes football is his post-college profession, why shouldn't he put that above the team? If that's selfish, good for Bryant for looking ahead.
Obviously, Bryant's transfer looks a hell of a lot different after Lawrence's injury but questioning a student-athlete's desire to make a smart decision for his future is pathetic.