Dabo Sweeny Speaks Out On Choice To Not Give Kelly Bryant A Championship Ring
Although freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence hoisted the College Football Playoff trophy last January after Clemson won its third national title this decade, another quarterback ignited the team’s championship run, helping them to win their schedule’s first four games. That quarterback, Kelly Bryant, only now seems as perhaps the most forgotten piece to ever contribute towards a championship, as head coach Dabo Swinney proceeded to solidify the team’s neglect for him, omitting from giving him a championship ring.
Dabo Swinney won’t give Kelly Bryant a national championship ring even though the former QB started the first four games last season for Clemson. pic.twitter.com/pSVo1GmYH6
— Sporting News (@sportingnews) August 8, 2019
“He wasn’t on the team. You’ve gotta be on the team to get a ring,” reasoned Swinney earlier this week when asked about the situation.
After loosing his job to Lawrence, Kelly transferred to University of Missouri halfway through last season, well before the team went on to defeat Alabama and retake their championship throne. Although managing to avoid a wasted season stowed away on Clemson’s bench behind Lawrence, Kelly vacated his eligibility to play during the postseason due to his decision to transfer halfway through the season, rather than at the end.
During Bryant’s four games as the starting quarterback he threw for 461 yards while also adding 130 rush yards. Bryant’s most impressive game came against a tough Texas A&M team, where Bryant went 12–17 and eclipsed 205 yards en route to a 28–26 road victory. However, after impressing with a four touchdown performance after coming in against Georgia Tech just weeks later, Swinney chose to name Lawrence as the team’s starter. From that point on, Lawrence never looked back, leading his team to another championship and promptly earning a “best player in college football” reputation.
Was there any doubt who number 1 in the #PFFCollege50 would be?
Highest-graded season by a true freshman ✅
Top-15 passing grades to each distance of the field ✅
National Champion ✅
— PFF College (@PFF_College) August 8, 2019
Carrying a typically likable and player–friendly personality, this move from Swinney to deprive Kelly seems a bit uncharacteristically harsh from the reigning ACC Coach of the Year. However, the move also illustrated Swinney’s appreciation for those who remain committed to their team, potentially serving to teach a lesson to all colligate athletes.
Dabo Swinney not giving Kelly Bryant a ring comes off a bit petty. Bryant led them to four wins, one of them over Texas A&M on the road. He was a big part of that championship team.
That said, he’s also setting the tone if/when players consider transferring mid-season.
— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) August 8, 2019
With the ringless Bryant existing as just a distant memory, Clemson begins its next quest to add even more jewelry just a few weeks from now, commencing their season with a matchup against Georgia Tech in Death Valley.
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