CLEMSON — Even with spring football over, there is still plenty going on at Clemson. Senior writer Matt Connolly is ready to answer whatever questions you might have. You can submit your question for the “Question of the Day” here. Today’s question is about Clemson’s QB signees.
When is the deadline for our two incoming quarterback/baseball players to make a final decision? Will that leave enough time to access the portal?
— Dianne McKenzie (@Tigrrrfan) May 30, 2021
Bubba Chandler and Will Taylor are planning to arrive at Clemson on June 24 to begin their college football careers with the Tigers.
But they could be leaving soon thereafter.
The MLB Draft is scheduled for July 11-13, and the two-sport stars are widely expected to be first-round picks in this year’s draft. It is certainly a bit of an odd situation that Chandler and Taylor will be enrolled at Clemson as the MLB Draft takes place.
“It’s going to be super weird,” Chandler told ClemsonSports.com last month. “Even if I don’t take the draft, I feel like coach [Dabo] Swinney will be grateful enough to let me come back home and have a little party for the draft or whatever. But I really don’t know what I’m going to do.”
Once the draft takes place, prospects and teams will have nearly three weeks to negotiate. The deadline for players to sign is August 1, and once that passes, Clemson will know for sure whether Chandler and Taylor are planning to sign and begin their professional baseball careers or begin competing for Clemson’s backup QB job.
With that said, Clemson should have a pretty good idea of what the two are going to do based on where they are drafted.
Chances are, if a team is using a first-round pick on a player, they have had discussions with the player and have been led to believe that they will sign. It’s rare for a player to be taken in the first round and not sign, although it has happened.
Clemson should have a pretty good idea if its two quarterback signees will play football for the Tigers by mid-July, and Clemson will know for sure by early August. Once those decisions are in, it will be much easier for the staff to decide if signing a quarterback from the transfer portal is a priority.
If Taylor and Chandler do turn pro, it will leave Clemson with only one healthy scholarship QB as things stand today. Tigers backup quarterback Taisun Phommachanh tore his Achilles in the spring game. Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott did say on Packer and Durham last week that Phommachanh is progressing well.
“Taisun, we’re encouraged by where he is. I anticipate that we’ll be able at some point to be able to move him back in, get some work out of him. Then we have some freshmen coming in that are highly recruited, and we have a couple walk-ons coming in,” Elliott said of the backup QB situation.
“Obviously, with Taisun going down in the spring game, it creates a little bit of anxiety, but as we progress and see how he progresses with his recovery, we feel good with where we are at.”