The clock’s ticking for former Clemson University quarterback Kelly Bryant. The Tar Heels host Virginia Tech Saturday and Bryant has one year of eligibility remaining in the 2019 college football season. North Carolina has a home game against Clemson on its 2019 schedule. Also, he’s announced he’ll visit Arkansas.
“I’m going to take my first official visit to Arkansas,” Bryant said Wednesday. “I’m excited to get down to Fayetteville and see what all Arkansas has to offer.”
Since leaving the Clemson football team last month, Bryant has been taking graduate classes while working out to stay in shape. His plan is to wrap up the academic semester at Clemson before enrolling early at the school of his choice in January.
Standing at 6-3, 225 pounds, Bryant was 16-2 as a starter for Clemson. He sat for two seasons behind national championship QB Deshaun Watson. Bryant started all 14 games in the 2017 season for a Clemson team that reached the national semifinals. Last season, he threw for 2,802 yards and 13 touchdowns with eight interceptions, completing 65.8 percent of his passes. On the round, he had 665 yards and 11 touchdowns on 192 carries. Bryant looked to take his game to the next level this season, but it was not to be with a major signing.
Bryant started the first four games for Clemson this season, splitting snaps with freshman sensation Trevor Lawrence. Bryant passed for 461 yards with a 66.7 completion percentage, with two touchdowns and an interception with 130 yards and two scores. Upon being informed Lawrence would start game number five, Bryant opted to leave the program. Bryant, who has NFL dreams, knew he had to make a move to showcase himself for NFL scouts.
“I feel like it’s what’s best for me and my future,” Bryant said of his decision. “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. I’ve been with this senior class for four years. Seeing how much we built and poured into this program, it’s tough to walk away from it. But at the same time, I’ve got to do what’s best for me. And I feel like this is the best situation for me.”
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has one of the worst Atlantic Coast Conference QB situations and could certainly use Bryant’s services. Currently, UNC sits 125th in passing rating through four games, despite its offensive line ranking T-15th nationally in sacks allowed per game (1.0). UNC has a 4-12 record during that span.
Fourth-year junior Nathan Elliott has started in all four games in 2018. Third-year junior Chazz Surratt, a 6-3, 215-pound left-handed sophomore from Denver, N.C., tore a ligament in his right wrist against Miami two weeks ago, according to TarHeel Illustrated, which was the first to report the news and is reportedly out for the season. UNC’s quarterbacks have combined in 2018 to pass for 798 yards, with three touchdowns and seven interceptions.
Since announcing his decision to transfer and receiving his release from the Tigers, more than 15 Power Five programs have reached out to Bryant. In addition to UNC and Clemson, Bryant is also reportedly working to schedule official visits to Louisville and Missouri, with those dates to be determined.