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Kelly Bryant Transfer Odds: Where Will Clemson’s Former Starter Play Next?

Alex Kilpatrick

by Alex Kilpatrick in College Football

Updated Mar 29, 2020 · 2:36 PM PDT

Dabo Swinney Clemson
Dabo Swinney's Clemson Tigers have the shortest odds to win the 2020 National Championship, sitting at roughly +190 on average . Photo by LambeauLeap80 (Wiki Commons)
  • Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant announced his transfer this week
  • Bryant led the Tigers to the College Football Playoff in 2017
  • He’s being replaced by true freshman Trevor Lawrence

After one season and four weeks as the starter for the Clemson Tigers, quarterback Kelly Bryant announced that he’s transferring. This comes after freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence won the starting job for Clemson’s game against Syracuse this Saturday.

Kelly Bryant Transfer

Kelly Bryant was an exceptional quarterback for Clemson. As a junior, he threw for 2,802 yards and 13 touchdowns, and ran for 665 yards and 11 TD’s. He led the ACC in completion percentage. He wasn’t Deshaun Watson, but he was pretty good.

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He’s a good quarterback, but it’s 2018 and good quarterbacks don’t necessarily last long at the top level of college football. Ask Jalen Hurts, who led Alabama to consecutive national title games and is now riding the bench. If there’s someone more effective than you available, you’ll end up watching them play.

That’s part of the reason Bryant decided to transfer. After waiting for two years behind Deshaun Watson, Bryant felt that being benched after four weeks of good (but not great) play was unfair.

It’s unlikely that he’ll end up anywhere less ruthless, unless he decided to step way down the ladder. Bryant is good enough to start for probably 110 FBS teams, but there’s only so many top-level jobs available.

Where Will Kelly Bryant Transfer To?

Kelly Bryant Transfer Destination SBD’s Odds
Any ACC Team 6/1
Any SEC Team 5/1
Florida State 20/1
Arkansas 8/1

We have no official indication where Bryant will end up, but we’re allowed to speculate. He’ll need a school without a starting quarterback in place for 2019, and he’ll need a school that wants him to run the ball. He’s perfectly fine as a passer, but as we’ve seen it’s his mobility that makes him hard to replace.

Clemson has no say in where Bryant goes, because he’ll essentially be a grad transfer. That means he can transfer within the ACC, and Willie Taggart is looking for a mobile quarterback at Florida State. It might be a little too petty for Bryant, but the Seminoles are probably the most prominent program available to him.

Another attractive option is Arkansas, which under Chad Morris is trying to morph into something a little more uptempo than Bret Bielama’s vision.

Another attractive option is Arkansas, which under Chad Morris is trying to morph into something a little more uptempo than Bret Bielama’s vision. It would be a natural fit, and would keep Bryant firmly within the Power 5.

Clemson Playoff Odds

Will Clemson Make the 4 Team Playoff? Odds
Yes -200
No +160

Clemson is an overwhelming favorite to make the College Football Playoff, as well they should be. They have an exciting, recklessly effective young quarterback, talent everywhere, and a defensive line that could probably hold up anywhere in the NFL. They also have a cupcake schedule, and will likely end the season with one or fewer losses. They’ll also almost certainly win the ACC.

For their national title odds, check out the National Championship Odds Tracker, which charts average odds as they evolve over the course of the season.

Kelly Bryant Heisman Trophy Odds

Will Kelly Bryant Win the Heisman Trophy? Odds
After Week 3 +5000
After Week 4 +12500

The betting market was already a little wary about Kelly Bryant. Bryant started the year listed as low as +1800, and then his odds started to spike after the spring game in which Lawrence looked good. 

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Kelly Bryant now cannot win the Heisman, at least practically. The redshirt rule that allows him to transfer only allows him to transfer if he suits up in four or less games, and Syracuse would be his fifth game. It would take a bizarre turn of events for Bryant to win the Heisman under those conditions.

Trevor Lawrence Heisman Trophy Odds

Will Trevor Lawrence Win the Heisman Trophy? Odds
First offered (7/10/2018) +900
After Week 4 +4000

Lawrence’s decline on the Heisman odds sheet has a lot more to do with Tua Tagovailoa than Kelly Bryant. The Tide quarterback has been electric in the early season, and will almost certainly win the Heisman if he continues apace.

If I could lay down money on the “Trevor Lawrence wins the Heisman, eventually” market I’d be all about it. He’s a fun, dynamic quarterback, who will almost certainly lead his team to the College Football Playoff. If there’s a recipe for Heisman-winning players, that’s just about it. The only reason he isn’t a favorite in 2018 is that Tua has a four-week head start.

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