This is quite the odd “loss” for Clemson football. To say the least.
Back in December, Tanner Tessmann signed to play soccer at Clemson. The plan was also for Tessman to kick for the Clemson football team as a scholarship player as well.
Thursday, however, FC Dallas announced that the 18-year-old Tessmann has signed a three-year contract with the Major League Soccer team. The deal also contains club options for the 2023 and 2024 seasons.
Tessmann could begin his professional soccer career as early as Saturday.
“I’m excited to get started,” Tessmann said in a statement. “Signing a professional contract has been a goal of mine since I moved to Texas to join the Academy at 14 years old. I’ve made a lot of sacrifices to get this opportunity, so it meant a lot to have my family here with me today.”
Back in December, Dabo Swinney was very, very effusive in his praise of Tessman, who the Clemson football coach has known for the young man’s entire life.
(Clemson soccer coach Mike) Noonan is somewhere, having a party somewhere right now because he just signed an unbelievably talented soccer player,” Swinney said back then. “But I’ve had the inside track on this one for a long time. My best friend is PJ Tessmann, and we’re basically brothers-in-laws…so I’ve kind of been the pseudo uncle to his two kids – Tanner, and his daughter Ashley literally their whole lives and kind of been Uncle Bo and kind of like Godfather if you will.
“But I had the inside track because I’ve seen him his entire life. And he’s one of the best athletes. He could go play D1 basketball. He could probably start at receiver at Clemson. He could probably play safety at Clemson. He’s a six-foot-two phenom. He can fly. He’s as good athlete as I’ve ever seen…It was a really difficult thing but, you know, it was a very tough thing for PJ and his mom, PJ’s wife Kelly, because FC Dallas came recruiting him and his dream was to play soccer professionally and maybe in Europe and all that. And so, FC Dallas literally came and recruited him, came to their house and it was just a very challenging thing because he was going to be going off in the eighth grade to this place developing.
“And so he’s been living in Dallas, literally since the eighth grade. And it’s amazing. So, I’m the only person on the planet that knew because he could bomb it 45 to 50 yards in the eighth grade. No one really knew because he has not played football. But he comes around and gets out there and plays around and kicks the ball and this and that. I mean it’s been amazing to watch him develop.
Clemson football should be okay on the kicking front, though, as the Tigers return their primary kicker from their run to the 2019 national championship game. As a true sophomore last season, B.T. Potter made all 79 of his point-after attempts and 13 of his 21 field-goal tries.