NCAA Rule Change Spurs Moves From Clemson’s Kelly Bryant, Oklahoma State’s Jalen McCleskey
OSU’s head coach Mike Gundy announced this week that McCleskey would redshirt transfer, thus preserving his year of eligibility for any school of his choosing next season. Following pushes for more student-athlete rights and concerning independence, athletes can now transfer mid-season and preserve another year of eligibility for another school, where the athlete can play immediately the following season.
Gundy cited a lack of touches as a reason for McCleskey’s transfer: he had 15 catches for 155 yards and two touchdowns this season, and his last game as a Cowboy — a loss to Texas Tech — he caught four passes for 52 yards. In previous years, athletes simply would not be eligible or encouraged enough to make such monumental decisions and still receive an opportunity to thrive elsewhere.
Bryant, the Clemson starter amassing 18 starts and only losing two games, had his spot usurped by freshman QB Trevor Lawrence. Bryant’s move immediately followed coach Dabo Swinney’s decision, who cited his displeasure with it all. “I feel like it’s what’s best for me and my future,” Bryant said about his transfer. “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.”