Just three short years ago, Kelly Bryant was surely on his way to sitting atop the college football world. A national champion as the No. 2 QB behind Deshaun Watson at Clemson, he took the reins to begin the 2017 season and picked up right where the Texans gunslinger left off. He guided the Tigers all the way to the College Football Playoff with eyes on going back-to-back.
Then, Alabama bested Clemson in the semifinals. And barely eight months later, Bryant would declare his intentions to transfer away from the Tiger program after being unceremoniously benched in favor of Trevor Lawrence... who guided the team to another championship.
He ended up in Missouri for his final college season. And today, the NFL Draft has come and gone without Bryant getting selected -- and he remains 100% unsigned by a professional team as of this writing.
In so many ways, it's simply a devastating arc that few could have predicted even as recently as late summer 2018.
In fact, even Clemson fans have to feel bad for this guy despite his abrupt departure from the program that coincided with Lawrence's rise to super-stardom. The whole thing just feels wrong.
Bryant has NFL size at 6-3 and 229 pounds. His 4.69-second 40-yard dash isn't impressive, but it's also far from a dealbreaker. The man was the starting signal-caller for a vaunted team that dominated the ACC and came within a single victory of a national title shot. But instead of becoming the next Deshaun Watson, he isn't even the next Tajh Boyd.
It's sad. It's just sad. And while some team is going to pick him up in due time -- it's out-of-the-question blasphemy that he'd literally never get signed -- that doesn't make his precipitous tumble from college football's penthouse any less stunning.