5 Biggest Losses for Clemson Football in the transfer portal

Even if the Tigers have good options in their positions, you would always prefer to have some players than to not have them. Here are five good examples for Clemson Football.

Clemson safety Andrew Mukuba (1) during the first quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
Clemson safety Andrew Mukuba (1) during the first quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. / Ken Ruinard/Greenville News / USA TODAY
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No. 1 - Hunter Helms

For most programs, the backup quarterback probably wouldn’t be considered the biggest loss to the portal in any given offseason. Clemson is the exception to this general rule.

Helms was Klubnik’s primary backup last season, but he still didn’t see much playing time, even when Klubnik was struggling. He elected to leave this season to seek more playing time and transferred to FCS Rhode Island.

Helms was a former walk-on who earned a scholarship. Since he didn’t get much playing time, it is hard to gauge exactly how valuable he was based on his own merits alone.

When we look at the balance of the quarterback room for 2025, we start to understand why his transfer is significant for Clemson.

Klubnik’s primary backup will be Chris Vizzina, who was well-regarded out of high school but wasn’t able to beat out Helms as a freshman. The third-stringer will be Trent Pearman, who is a walk-on.

Dabo Swinney says Paul Tyson will be available if he is needed, but will likely not play as a fourth-stringer and simply be another coaching asset.

So after Klubnik, the Tigers have a sophomore who has yet to prove himself, a walk-on, and a veteran whom Swinney compares to Zeb Noland.

That’s a shaky situation if Klubnik is injured, at best. We don’t know how good Helms can be, but the Tigers would probably prefer he was still on the roster.

The Zeb Noland plan is getting scarier and scarier every day that goes by.

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