Heading into the summer, the Clemson Tigers have some serious depth issues at quarterback.
Taisun Phommachanh going down with a torn Achilles in the spring game was a devastating blow to a team that was already thin at the position, especially when it comes to experience.
Dabo Swinney made an appearance on The Packer and Durham Show during the week and acknowledged that the Tigers have questions, but at the same time said that it’s a position the team has been in before.
“We have some issues, there’s no doubt about that, I’m not denying that,” Swinney said. “But we’re in a lot better shape than we were two years ago.”
Swinney was referring to the Tigers 2018 team when the team went into the season with basically just two quarterbacks.
“It looks better than it did two years ago,” Swinney said. “We went 15-0 and we had a true freshman starter, a redshirt freshman backup in Chase Brice, and our third quarterback was Hunter Renfrow and our fourth quarterback was our punter Will Spiers.”
Clemson is hoping to get three more quarterbacks on campus this summer. However, two of those players could potentially hear their names called in the MLB Draft come July. That includes Bubba Chandler, who just might have worked his way into the first round.
Swinney chooses to remain optimistic. Although, there have been some rumblings that the coaches are scouring the transfer portal and it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see the Tigers go that route.
“We actually have three guys coming in this summer, and with Hunter that’s four,” Swinney said. “So we’ll have five guys on the roster, true quarterbacks, real quarterbacks. Whereas two years ago we really only had two and Hunter and Spiers were make believe.”
In the grand scheme of things, how far this Clemson team can go next season rides on starting quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei staying healthy, the same way they did with Trevor Lawrence in 2018.
“Now you’ve got to get lucky,” Swinney said. “We were able to stay healthy for the most part with Trevor and Chase that year. But we’ve got D.J., he’s going to be a great player. Hunter Helms, who was with us last year, is back and has really made a lot of progress.”
It’s also possible that Phommachanh could be back at some point during the season. There has been no official timetable given regarding his return and Swinney says they are just taking a wait and see approach.
“We’ll just have to see where Taisun is,” Swinney said. “In Taisun’s mind he’s coming back and going to get back in the mix. I love his mentality. That’s a tough injury, but you can come back from that, and we don’t have any doubt that he’ll be back as soon as possible.”