What once started as a legitimate controversy took a weird turn before quietly settling back to normal. Clemson found its quarterback then saw him get injured, lost the original starter to transfer, won with a third string, and even experimented with its star wide receiver at signal caller in practice.
Do you know who has not had a shot at quarterback yet? Tigers senior defensive tackle Christian Wilkins, and he wants it so bad.
The 6-foot-4, 315-pound lineman said he’s even plotting to talk to the wife of head coach Dabo Swinney, Kathleen Swinney, because she will fight to make sure he gets a snap or two.
This is incredible. Could you imagine Wilkins lining up in shotgun, checking the play at the line, and then bulldozing his way for that three-yard touchdown before giving us an all-time celebration? It would be as legendary as Clemson’s current defensive line.
This is not just for show, either. It’s actually a brilliant leadership tactic. With so much pressure surrounding the quarterback position, the undisputed leader of the Tigers is taking the edge off the situation and making life fun for one of the top teams in the country. Not to mention, he has been doing this his entire career, even wanting to challenge Deshaun Watson for the QB1 spot a couple of years ago.
However, despite the drama, all seems to be well for Clemson. Freshman Trevor Lawrence is a complete stud, Kelly Bryant has transferred and looking for his next spot, redshirt freshman Chase Brice has proven to be a capable backup, and senior wide receiver Hunter Renfro is the ultimate safety option.
There is no need for Wilkins, who took Lawrence out for breakfast when Bryant elected to transfer, to take snaps, but don’t tell him that at all.
“That is the most thing I’m upset with about the whole quarterback situation. I don’t know how Hunter would get his chance before me,” Wilkins said earlier this month. “I don’t know what’s funny. I don’t find anything funny. I can sling it a little bit, I can run the ball, everything. I feel like I should definitely at least be three or four, somewhere on the depth chart, but it is what it is.”
Wilkins isn’t too shabby at his position, though, registering 23 tackles, including 5.5 tackles for loss with two sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery for the Tigers this season.
Having Wilkins be dominant leader on the field is nothing new. Neither is hearing him want a chance to play quarterback at Clemson before the 2019 NFL Draft. But to plot with the head coach’s wife so he can get a chance?
That is legendary, and now it needs to happen to make the story complete.