It feels like it’s been forever ago that Kelly Bryant decided to leave the Clemson football team. All Clemson has done is stay undefeated and helped develop the young star quarterback into the player that Dabo Sweeney needs him to be. As of this week, Bryant has narrowed his transfer destination to two teams: Missouri and Auburn. Both teams are intriguing destinations for whichever one lands his services. The two tigers offer a different opportunity for him as their offenses are very different. Which team will he go choose? Where should he go? The answer: It depends on what he ultimately sees for his future.
If Bryant decides to go with Missouri, it likely means that he sees himself as an NFL quarterback and wants to be in an offense that will allow him to showcase his arm talent. Drew Lock is considered to be one of the top NFL quarterback prospects for this upcoming class and he has slung the ball across SEC defenses with ease essentially since he first earned his start. As talented of a quarterback as he is though, his teams have never been a title contender, not even for the conference. The system will not require him to make too many plays with his legs either, something that he is known for. Maybe that is what he wants however; everyone knows he can run. It’s time for him to show that he can throw as well.
If he ultimately chooses to play his senior season at Auburn University, it may be a bit more complicated. Many fans believe that the future of Auburn’s quarterbacks is coming in as a freshman next season; a familiar sound for Bryant as he was supplanted by “the future” at Clemson as well. It is also worth noting that Jarrett Stidham has another season of eligibility after his junior season was a disappointment (although many people do not believe Stidham will come back nonetheless). If Stidham leaves, Bryant will have the most experience on the roster at quarterback and that is exactly what Gus Malzahn needs. Malzahn’s seat is hotter than ever and he needs a dual-threat to run his offense as he will be coaching for his job next season. Malzahn has also had success with transfer quarterbacks in their first year. Newton and Marshall played in the National Championship, and Stidham was one SEC Championship win from a College Football Playoff spot. Bryant is currently on campus on an official visit and this seems like a safe pick for him as the offense fits his strengths.
Both teams will allow Bryant to compete in one of the toughest football conferences in all of college football. Both teams offer something great for him, with the cost of something that may be important to him as well. Will he ultimately try to find his way into the NFL quarterback conversation by choosing Missouri’s high-powered aerial attack? Or will he take the safer route and possibly compete for a championship?