Former Clemson QB Kelly Bryant commits to Missouri

Clemson quarterback <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/ncaaf/players/252151/" data-ylk="slk:Kelly Bryant">Kelly Bryant</a> (2) warms up before the first half of an NCAA college football game between Georgia Tech and Clemson, Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, in Atlanta. (AP)
Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant (2) warms up before the first half of an NCAA college football game between Georgia Tech and Clemson, Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, in Atlanta. (AP)

After his highly publicized transfer from Clemson in September, Kelly Bryant has announced where he will play his final season of football.

The fifth-year senior quarterback will continue his career in the SEC playing for Missouri. He is eligible to play immediately next season.

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At Missouri, Bryant will compete to replace Drew Lock, a senior who has been the team’s starter since the second half of his true freshman season. Lock is projected to be one of the top quarterbacks taken in the 2019 NFL draft.

With Lock out of the equation, Mizzou was searching for an experienced option to take the reins at quarterback and have found that in Bryant. Taylor Powell and Micah Wilson have been Lock’s backups the past two seasons, but have 24 combined passing attempts between them.

Bryant chose Missouri after also visiting Auburn, Arkansas, North Carolina and Mississippi State over the course of the season.

Kelly Bryant was Clemson’s starting QB in 2017

After leading Clemson to the College Football Playoff in 2017, Bryant started the first four games this season for Clemson, often splitting time with five-star freshman Trevor Lawrence. After Lawrence outperformed Bryant against Georgia Tech, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney made a change and named Lawrence the starter.

Two days later, Bryant announced that he would transfer. Thanks to a new rule that allows players to play in up to four games and still redshirt, Bryant was able to maintain his final year of eligibility. Bryant already graduated from Clemson, so he is immediately eligible in 2019 as a graduate transfer.

In 2017, Bryant threw for 2,802 yards, 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions while completing 65.8 percent of his passes. He also rushed for 665 yards and 11 scores. Clemson went 11-1 in the regular season and trounced Miami in the ACC title game before losing 24-6 to Alabama in the College Football Playoff semifinals. Bryant had a poor outing, going 18-of-36 for 124 yards and two interceptions.

He fended off Lawrence long enough to begin the 2018 season as the starter. In his four starts, he threw for 456 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 144 yards and two more scores.

After Bryant’s transfer, Clemson, with Lawrence at quarterback, cruised through the rest of the regular season without a loss and will play No. 3 Notre Dame in the College Football Playoff.

Not Missouri’s only graduate transfer

Not long after Bryant announced his decision, Missouri landed another graduate transfer.

Former Arkansas wide receiver Jonathan Nance is also transferring to Missouri. Nance left the Arkansas team in September and is expected to graduate later this month. Like Bryant, he used the new redshirt rule to his advantage in order to maintain a year of eligibility and should be eligible for the 2019 season.

In 2017, Nance led Arkansas with 37 catches for 539 yards and five touchdowns.


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