Does the Clemson Football staff trust Hunter Helms?
Helms is a fan favorite, as many former walk-ons have been. He is a redshirt junior with at least two seasons of eligibility remaining (could be three depending on how COVID rules apply), but it seems like he has been on the team forever. He has seen quite a bit of playing time in spring games and has made a few appearances during the regular season.
Helms took second-team reps in the spring and performed better than Vizzina in the spring game. Riley says there will be a quarterback competition this fall. Klubnik has a big lead on the starting job, and the staff would like to redshirt Vizzina. That means Helms and incoming transfer Paul Tyson will be competing for the backup spot.
Helms has a lot of experience at Clemson, but he will only have a small headstart on learning Riley’s system over Tyson, who missed spring practice. Now comes news that Helms has a minor injury that is keeping him off the field temporarily.
While the staff has always expressed confidence in Helms, they haven’t pulled the trigger on putting him into the game in meaningful situations, even when the 2021 team was struggling with Uiagalelei. They apparently didn’t think Taisun Phommachanh was a viable option, and Helms was third on the depth chart behind him.
Helms has had a season to improve since then, so maybe the staff truly feels comfortable now putting him into the starting lineup if Klubnik is injured for a long period of time. Tyson will begin competing in fall camp and we will see how things shake out from there.