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Mizzou’s Kelly Bryant is the face of the changing NCAA

The former Clemson quarterback talks about joining the other Tigers at SEC media days.
Missouri quarterback Kelly Bryant runs the ball during their NCAA college football intra-squad spring game Saturday, April 13, 2019, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)
Published Jul. 15

HOOVER, Ala. — Missouri quarterback Kelly Bryant is the poster child for two of the most recent NCAA changes designed to give more control to athletes.

He was one of the first players to play in four games while preserving his redshirt year. He then kept that extra year of eligibility and used it to leave Clemson and head to Mizzou through the transfer portal.

Bryant said Monday during SEC’s media days that he didn’t know he was a trailblazer in combining those loopholes until people started calling it the Kelly Bryant rule.

READ MORE: Clemson’s Kelly Bryant becomes biggest four-game transfer so far

“I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing,” Bryant said. “But it’s good to take advantage of it.”

Bryant doesn’t know where he’d be without it. He was the Tigers’ starter but lost the job after the first four games to freshman phenom Trevor Lawrence, who then guided Clemson to its second national championship in third years. Bryant would have been relegated to the bench. Instead, he gets the opportunity to suit up for another big-time program — the SEC’s Tigers, who are a potential top 25 team.

“It’s been a tool that, I feel like has pretty much changed my life,” Bryant said of the portal. “I thank God for the timing of it. Two years prior, there was no prior. I don’t know what I would have done if I didn’t have the rule. I’m thankful for it.”

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