It’s the most important position in football and quality play from the Clemson Football offense has almost always started with the quarterback. Clemson won national championships with Deshaun Watson and Trevor Lawrence at the helm. They earned their only No. 1 seed in the playoffs with Kelly Bryant starting.
The presumption was that DJ Uiagalelei, a 5-star high school prospect, would continue the trend of excellent quarterback play, especially after he played so well in relief of Lawrence in 2020 when he tested positive for COVID-19. For whatever reason, things haven’t worked out over the past two seasons.
Uiagalelei has moved on, and the Tigers have brought in Garrett Riley from TCU to run their offense and coach the quarterbacks. Next in line is another 5-star quarterback, so there is optimism, but also caution because we have learned that not all 5-stars work out the same.
All of them are learning a new system under Riley. At TCU, incumbent starter Max Duggan lost the preseason battle to Chandler Morris, only for Morris to get hurt. Duggan returned to the starting lineup and then turned his chance into a Heisman Trophy finalist appearance. The lesson learned is that anything can happen.
Here are the roster expectations as we approach fall camp.
- Expected starter: Cade Klubnik (So)
- Depth: Paul Tyson (RS Sr), Hunter Helms (RS Jr), Christopher Vizzina (Fr)
- Walk-ons: Trent Pearman (RS Fr)
Here are three questions about the 2023 quarterbacks.