The first time Kelly Bryant was recruited, as a member of the class of 2015, he was a 4-star. A product of Wren High School in Piedmont, S.C., and the younger cousin of former Clemson wide receiver Martavis Bryant, Bryant chose Clemson over offers from Florida, North Carolina and Ole Miss, according to his Rivals profile.
This time around, Bryant is definitely a 5-star. Bryant led Clemson to an ACC title and a College Football Playoff berth in his lone season as Clemson’s starter, then guided the Tigers to a 4-0 mark before giving way to freshman Trevor Lawrence in September. Along the way, Bryant threw for 3,263 yards, rushed for 795 and accounted for 28 total touchdowns in leading Clemson to a 16-2 record.
Bryant is a proven, effective college player, which wasn’t enough for him to remain ahead of Lawrence on the Clemson depth chart but is plenty good enough to start at a number of other schools — and many of those other schools have courted Bryant.
Just like a high school recruit, Bryant is permitted five official visits, which he’s taken to Arkansas, Missouri and North Carolina, with future visits planned for Mississippi State this weekend and Miami on Nov. 24. He’s also taken an unofficial vis to Auburn.
According to a report from Woody Wommack of Rivals, Bryant has set a date of Dec. 4 to pick his graduate transfer destination. That’s the Tuesday after Selection Sunday.
“I’m still trying to talk to more schools and make sure I get this right,” Bryant told Rivals earlier this month. “I need to make sure I establish the right type of relationship and make the right choice.
Among those six schools, three (Mississippi State, Missouri and Auburn) have senior starting quarterbacks, and three (Arkansas, Miami and UNC) are set to return their starters.
It’s clear that Bryant plans to start at whatever school he chooses. Whether he’ll be gifted the starting spot or have to earn it remains to be seen.