Tim Tebow 'Proud' of Kelly Bryant for Transferring from Clemson

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistSeptember 28, 2018

FILE - In this Jan. 1, 2018, file photo, Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant (2) passes in the first half of the Sugar Bowl NCAA college football bowl game against Alabama, in New Orleans. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney is not concerned about his quarterback spot, even though the once-loaded depth at the position has been cut in half. (AP Photo/Rusty Costanza, File)
Rusty Costanza/Associated Press

Former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Tim Tebow offered his support Friday for quarterback Kelly Bryant's decision to transfer from Clemson.

Appearing on ESPN's First Take, Tebow said he was "proud" of Bryant for chasing a better opportunity:

Bryant announced this week that he will transfer from Clemson and play elsewhere next season after head coach Dabo Swinney named freshman signal-caller Trevor Lawrence the new starter.

In an interview with Manie Robinson of the Greenville News, Bryant explained the rationale behind his decision: "I feel like it's what's best for me and my future. 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 started all 14 games for the Tigers last season and led them to a 12-2 record. They reached the College Football Playoff but fell to Alabama in the semifinals at the Sugar Bowl.

He then started the first four games of 2018 as a senior, and while he posted a 4-0 record, Lawrence was clearly the more effective player.

Bryant has thrown for 461 yards with two touchdowns and one interception while rushing for 130 yards and two scores.

Meanwhile, Lawrence has thrown for 600 yards, nine touchdowns and two picks.

Under the new transfer rules, Bryant saved a year of college eligibility by deciding to transfer after appearing in four games this season.

Despite the discrepancy in production, Bryant felt he was treated unfairly:

"They asked me how I felt about it. I was like, 'I'm not discrediting Trevor. He's doing everything asked of him, but on my side of it, I feel like I haven't done anything to not be the starter. I've been here. I've waited my turn. I've done everything y'all have asked me to do, plus more.' I've never been a distraction. I've never been in trouble with anything. To me, it was kind of a slap in the face."

Tebow noted that while he may have gone about things a bit differently than Bryant, including not skipping practice after Lawrence was named the starter, he equated it to anyone in the working world leaving one job for a better one.

Although Bryant has yet to announce where he intends to transfer, Tebow named Auburn as a school that could be a strong fit for Bryant provided current starting quarterback Jarrett Stidham enters the NFL draft after this season.

While Tebow never transferred during college, he knows plenty about making difficult decisions, as he moved on from his football career to pursue a career in baseball.

After spending time with the Denver Broncos, New York Jets, New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL, Tebow signed a minor league contract with the New York Mets in 2016.

The decision was met with skepticism, but he has worked his way up to Double-A and was named an All-Star this season before a hand injury forced him to miss the remainder of the campaign.

There seemingly weren't any NFL opportunities left for Tebow when he left football, and Bryant likely wouldn't have had many more opportunities to play at Clemson unless Lawrence went down with an injury.

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