Chase Brice spent most of his three seasons at Clemson watching from the sidelines while Kelly Bryant and Trevor Lawrence did most of the playing. His playing time mostly consisted of mop up duty when finishing up games that were already out of hand. However, when his team needed him most, he would step up and deliver.
On a hot September day in 2018, on a day that was supposed to be about Trevor Lawrence’s first career start, Brice would deliver in a big way. After Lawrence was knocked out of the game late in the first half and the team looking rather sluggish, all eyes were on Brice.
While it wasn’t all pretty, the young QB was at his best when it mattered most, and in the process helped save Clemson’s season when he helped lead a come from behind win over Syracuse at home.
After the Tigers finished off a perfect 15-0 season and captured the program’s third national title, Brice announced his intention to transfer. It was a move that had to be made if he ever wanted a shot at being a starter and a move that had to be made to maximize his draft stock.
Unlike most grad transfers, Brice still has two years of eligibility left, which made him one of the more sought after quarterbacks in the transfer portal. The fact that he chose to finish his career at Duke while pursuing his Masters Degree speaks volumes about exactly what Brice is made of.
Duke head coach David Cutcliffe is well known for his ability to mold young quarterbacks. The fact that he has helped put numerous guys into the league was a big factor in why Brice would end up at Duke, and he also likes what he sees as far as who they are bringing into the program.
“I thought I was a little more intriguing than other guys,” Brice told the Packer and Durham Show. “Because I had two (years) left. Getting two years, you know, graduate, get your masters over at Duke, that was appealing as well. Two years at that program with Coach Cut with the guys we’re bringing in, it’s going to be pretty special.”
When it came time to make the decision about his future, Brice says everyone at Clemson was very supportive. He may not have been a starter, but he was one of the more well respected guys in the locker room.
“Everyone was on board with wherever I was going to go,” Brice said. “That locker room was a great locker room, and I had many friends in there. Lots of guys that I looked up to, and a lot of guys that I think looked up to me. I just tried to be that leader every day.
However, there was one person who helped really guide him when it came to making the decision, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney. While Brice said Swinney wasn’t a fan of some of the schools he had on his list, there was one he absolutely loved. And when Swinney speaks, his players listen.
“I felt Coach Swinney kind of angling me” Brice said. “And he’s a wise guy, so I wanted to take advice from him. He kind of weaseled my way through looking at Duke, and I told him some of the other schools I was looking at. He wasn’t too thrilled about a couple of them. He just said, ‘I think you’ll do great things over with Coach Cut.’”