Last season when Trevor Lawrence was forced to miss two games, Clemson was fortunate enough to be in a position in which they could turn to freshman phenom D.J. Uiagalelei.
As it stands today, with Lawrence now gone, Clemson is one play away from Taisun Phommachanh being its starting quarterback. Or possibly walk-on Hunter Helms, depending on how the spring and fall shakes out, and one of the areas of focus this spring is ensuring both of those guys are ready to step in if called upon.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney appeared on Walt Deptula’s local radio show Road Rage on Monday and said that he was happy with what he’s seen from Phommachanh so far this spring, but unfortunately he’s been out since last week and won’t be back until after spring break.
“That is one of the main areas that we have to really develop that position from a depth standpoint,” Swinney said. “Taisun was making great progress and was off to a really great start and I really like where he is from a mentality standpoint, but he’s been out the last few days and we’ll get him back after the break. But I do think Taisun is a guy who will be ready to help us this fall and hopefully have a bigger role than he had this past year as a redshirt freshman.”
Swinney said that he’s also been happy with the progress that Helms has made. The Tigers’ head coach doesn’t just want both guys ready to play, though, he wants them ready to win.
“Hunter Helms is another young promising prospect,” Swinney said. “That’s a position that we need to close the gap and we need to have more guys ready to go. Not just ready to play but ready to go win.”
However, as happy as Swinney is with the progress of both players, he also said that there is a lot more work to be done at the most important position on the field.
“That’s a critical position,” Swinney said. “That will be huge. We’re nowhere near what we need to be right now.”