Clemson football quarterback enters transfer portal

The Clemson University football team at the third day of spring practice at the University’s football Complex in Clemson, SC, Wednesday, March 8, 2023. Clemson quarterback Hunter Helms (18) during passing drills. Gre 2023 Day 3 Clemson Football30

A Clemson quarterback is entering the transfer portal.

Quarterback Hunter Helms, the top backup to starter Cade Klubnik this season, announced Tuesday he was entering the NCAA transfer portal after four years at the school. Helms, a graduate transfer, is the Tigers’ first portal loss this cycle.

In a post on the platform X (formerly Twitter), the West Columbia native who starred in high school at Gray Collegiate Academy said he “couldn’t have had a better four years” at Clemson and thanked coaches, trainers, staff and teammates.

“It is truly a brotherhood and Clemson is a better place because y’all are there,” Helms, who can enter the portal early as a graduate transfer, wrote. “After careful consideration I would like to say I have decided to enter the transfer portal.”

Under new NCAA rules, the transfer portal window for most players opens next Monday, Dec. 3, and runs 30 days through Jan. 3, 2024 (down from a 45-day window last year). Undergraduate players can declare their intent before that date but can’t formally enter until Dec. 3, the day after bowl assignments are revealed.

Helms walked on at Clemson in 2020 despite holding scholarship offers from schools including South Florida and Troy, who compete at the FBS level. He ends his Tigers career having appeared in nine games over four seasons and completing 22 of 37 passes for 218 yards and two touchdowns in mop-up duty.

Helms beat out Alabama/Arizona State transfer Paul Tyson and true freshman Christopher Vizzina for Clemson’s No. 2 quarterback position behind Klubnik but didn’t take any significant snaps in 2023, as Klubnik was never benched or injured.

With a Clemson degree in hand, Helms figures to be searching for a starting opportunity and could follow a route similar to that of Billy Wiles, another quarterback who walked on at Clemson over Group of Five opportunities and ended up transferring after last season and starting for Southern Miss.