By Otis Kirk
Former Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant has completed his official visit to Arkansas. He was in attendance as Arkansas defeated Tulsa 23-0.
Bryant is a graduate transfer who will have one year to play at a new school. Following the visit, Bryant talked about how it went.
“It was a really good visit, I really enjoyed it from the first second I got here,” Bryant said. “I love the scenery around the campus, the game, talking to the coaches, it was a really good visit.”
As Kelly made his way to the field near the end of the game, the fans started chanting his name and calling the Hogs. That caught Kelly’s attention and he joined in on the Hog Call.
“It made me feel wanted,” Kelly said. “Kind of felt at home. I heard from all the coaches how crazy all the fans get but you really don’t know until you see it. That was probably one of the most special moments and one of the highlights of the visit. I picked up on the Hog Call, I was confused at first about what they were saying but I got it after a few tries.”
How did you feel after watching the game about how you’d be used at Arkansas?
“They’ve got all the pieces here,” Bryant said. “I feel like if I was to come here I could maybe make a spark but I feel like all the pieces are around here. I’ve just got to sit down and make sure I dot all my I’s cross all my t’s, if I come here I need to make sure I’m making the most out of my opportunity.”
Bryant played four games for Clemson this season starting all of them. The Tigers won all four. But after the fourth game, Coach Dabo Swinney informed Bryant he was gonna start true freshman Trevor Lawrence. Bryant and Lawrence had both played in the first four games. Bryant then opted to take advantage of a new NCAA rule that allows a player to participate in four games and still redshirt.
Bryant, who was 16-2 as a starter at Clemson, completed 35 of 53 passes for 456 yards, two touchdowns and an interception this season. He also rushed 30 times for 144 yards and two touchdowns.
As a junior, Bryant led the Tigers to a 12-2 record. He completed 262 of 398 passes for 2,802 yards, 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Bryant also rushed 192 times for 665 yards and 11 touchdowns. He was one of 11 finalists for the Manning Award and among the 16 finalists for the Davey O’Brien Award.
At Clemson for his career, Bryant completed 310 of 469 passes for 3,333 yards, 16 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He also rushed 257 times for 987 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Bryant visited North Carolina the weekend prior to Arkansas. What is next?
“Official to Missouri this weekend,” Bryant said.
Joe Craddock is Arkansas’ offensive coordinator and coaches the quarterbacks. Bryant talked about his relationship with him.
“Our chemistry is good,” Bryant said. “He was at Clemson with Coach (Chad) Morris so there’s a really good connection there. He’s a really great dude, he knows a lot, very knowledgeable.”
Morris was the lead recruiter for Bryant at Clemson. Morris left to become head coach at SMU prior to Bryant’s arrival, but had told the standout quarterback that could happen. Bryant makes no secret of how Morris’ honesty has stuck with him through the years.
“It means a lot that Morris was honest with me,” Bryant said. “I’ve said this that through this process I don’t want to be recruited, I want to be told the situation from the jump because I’ve been through that phase. I’ve only got one year left.
“Just talking to Coach Morris, he’s always been the same guy, even when he was at other places. It just means a lot, that trust factor. Knowing that you can trust a coach and the coaching staff means a lot.”
Bryant, 6-3, 215, went to Clemson from Piedmont (S.C.) Wren High School where he was a three-star dual-threat recruit.