Hunter Helms Heads Into Fall Camp as Backup to D.J. Uiagalelei

The moment it was announced that Taisun Phommachanh suffered a torn Achilles in the spring game, the questions about what the Tigers would do to address depth issues began.

However, as it turns out the Clemson coaching staff didn’t have any concerns. Not enough to make them seek out a transfer quarterback anyways. Quarterbacks coach Brandon Streeter made it clear at Clemson Media Day that, at this point, the staff is completely comfortable with Hunter Helms as the backup to D.J. Uiagalelei.

“Hunter Helms deserves that, has earned that,” Streeter said. “Taisun would be, obviously, but Hunter Helms going into that first preseason camp, he’s going to be our number two guy. But it’s all competition, everybody’s got to re-earn their spot.”

While much of the fan base was questioning why the staff wasn’t scouring the transfer portal looking for another arm, Phommachanh was putting in the work to get back on the field and according to Uiagalelei, he’s on track to be back much quicker than expected.

“Taisun’s doing great,” Uiagalelei said at the ACC Kickoff. “I was just talking to him. He said he’s doing really well. He’s almost back. He should be back for the South Carolina State game. It’s really exciting.”

For those that do not know, the South Carolina State game is September 11, the second week of the season. If that timeline holds true, there was no need for the Tigers to hit the transfer portal.

“Y’all know Coach Swinney’s and our program’s philosophy on that,” Streeter said. “Never really dove into it at all. Danny Pearman is in charge of our scouting department, and so he has looked into it just because we have to be ready, no matter what happens, but we never really got into it.”

“I never really like memorized the guys that are in there other than what I heard in the news. I mean we might have had a few conversations about it but there was nothing that was something that was serious at all.”

Until Phommachanh does return, whether it’s week two, or further down the line, Streeter is confident in the fact that with Helms and some of the younger guys behind him, he has enough arms in his room. Now it’s just a matter of getting them ready.

“I know I have enough guys,” Streeter said. “You know, I have five guys that we’re gonna be able to work with and they’re all eager and willing to learn and get better.”

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