When Kelley Bryant announced he would transfer for the opportunity to start somewhere else in 2019. The internet went wild with speculation. Bryant is the highest profile transfer for the upcoming season and for good reason. Last year he threw for nearly 3,000 yards and ran for over 600 more while leading Clemson to a CFP semifinal appearance. He’s played reasonably well again this year but incoming freshman Trevor Lawrence has come in and taken over the offense.
Speculation of where Bryant might go has included Arkansas, and not just overzealous fans with wishful thinking. Former Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd specifically mentioned the Hogs on ESPN’s Campus Conversation podcast. Morgan Moriarty at the main SB Nation site also listed the Hogs as one possibility. With that in mind let’s take a look at some reasons why and why not to think that he could choose Arkansas.
Three Reasons Bryant Might Come to Arkansas
1. Chad Morris
Morris never coached Bryant at Clemson, but he was the main recruiter to bring him to campus. Bryant committed to Clemson in April of 2014 while Morris left for SMU that December. Bryant would then enroll that next January.
Morris was all in with his interest of Bryant early on with his recruitment, and never waivered even when Bryant changed schools or was injured. He also coached his cousin Martavis Bryant at Clemson.
Relationships play a huge role in recruiting (and by extension transfers) so that previous relationship could be a huge advantage.
2. Offensive Style
This article is all the way back from 2014 but shows the offense Morris ran at Clemson and how Bryant ran a similar version of it at Clemson. That familiarity could help him hit the ground running.
3. Playing Time
The Hogs need quarterback help in the worst way. You know it, I know it. It just hasn’t worked out well enough with neither Cole Kelley or Ty Storey looking very convincing behind center for the Hogs. If Bryant wants to come here, it’s as close to a guaranteed starting spot he could get.
Why Bryant Won’t Choose Arkansas
Bryant will have one year of eligibility left, and it might be difficult for him to accept transferring from a program where he led to a CFP appearance to a place where the best case scenario might be a bowl game. With only one year at a certain school, it would make sense that he would want to avoid a long term rebuild like the one Arkansas is in.
While he has ties to the coaching staff. He doesn’t really have any connections to the Arkansas area. Bryant is from South Carolina, and the Hogs only have one player from there (Dorian Gerald) on the roster. There are plenty of options closer to home that Bryant could choose.
3. Draft Status
If Bryant also has his sights set on the NFL draft, he could also choose a school with more tradition of putting QBs in the NFL, and also one that will be in more high profile games. Arkansas has only had three QBs taken since 2000, and those were in the 3rd, 4th, and 6th rounds.
Bryant hasn’t said anything other than announcing his intention to transfer. So everything, this article included, is just pure speculation until he actually announces anything. So before then, Hog fans might not want to get too excited.