Clemson loses backup QB to likely torn achilles

CLEMSON, S.C. — The Clemson Tigers will be without redshirt sophomore quarterback Taisun Phommachanh in 2021.

Dabo Swinney told the media after the Orange and White game Saturday afternoon that D.J. Uiagalalei’s backup likely tore his achilles in the spring game and will miss the upcoming 2021 season.

“It’s a really tough, tough break for Taisun,” Swinney said. “He was having his best spring… this is definitely a setback for him, it’s a setback for our team, but everybody deals with challenges, everybody deals with setbacks along the way. It’s how you respond to those things that determine everyone’s success.”

Phommachanh was expected to be the second-string quarterback for Clemson entering the fall. He has 73 passing yards and 81 rushing yards in seven games of action across the last two seasons.

Gray Collegiate alum Hunter Helms now looks poised to assume that backup quarterback role as the only other quarterback currently on the Tigers’ roster. Incoming freshman Bubba Chandler and Dutch Fork’s Will Taylor are expected to join the team over the summer and compete for the job with Helms.

Swinney is slow to hit the panic button on his QB situation, saying this team has been in a similar situation before.

“Yeah, just a couple years ago, when we won the National Championship, 2018,” Swinney said. “I think Hunter Renfrow was my third-team quarterback… unfortunately it’s not our first rodeo, and we’re fortunate to have the guys that we have.”


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