Onetime Clemson QB Johnson transferring back to Tigers

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CLEMSON, S.C. — Onetime Clemson quarterback Hunter Johnson is returning to the Tigers, becoming coach Dabo Swinney‘s first player taken from the NCAA transfer portal.

Johnson had been with Northwestern the past four seasons. He announced his decision to return to Clemson on Monday.

Johnson is a 6-foot-2, 205-pound graduate from Brownsburg, Indiana. He was considered a five-star prospect coming out of high school and signed with Clemson in 2017. Johnson sat behind starter Kelly Bryant that season and went through spring practice the following year behind future No. 1 NFL draft pick Trevor Lawrence.

Johnson transferred before the 2018 season. He sat out that year because of NCAA transfer rules at the time. Johnson played in 11 games at Northwestern, completing 95 of 183 passes for 856 yards, five touchdowns and eight interceptions.

Johnson said he had contacted Swinney about becoming a grad assistant coach for the Tigers. Swinney asked if he’d like to join the team and help the team’s younger quarterbacks in current starter D.J. Uiagalelei and incoming freshman Cade Klubnik, considered a five-star prospect by 247Sports.com.

Swinney has not been a fan of the transfer portal, preferring to bring in young talent and develop it. But the coach has said he would use it if it could help the Tigers.

Clemson backup QB Taisun Phommachanh decided to transfer after last season.

Clemson gives raises, contract extensions to staff

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CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson’s board of trustees approved raises for special teams coordinator and cornerbacks coach Mike Reed and defensive tackles coach Nick Eason.

Reed and Eason also received one-year extensions keeping them tied to the Tigers through Jan. 31, 2026.

Reed, who’s been with the Tigers since 2013, had his yearly salary increased $50,000 to $800,000. Eason, the former Clemson standout defensive lineman, joined the staff this past season. He also had his compensation upped by $50,000 to $800,000.

Seven other assistants were given one-year extensions by the trustees’ compensation committee, but without a raise in salary.

Co-defensive coordinators Wes Goodwin and Mickey Conn had their contracts extended through Jan. 31, 2026.

Defensive ends coach Lemanski Hall, tight ends coach Kyle Richardson, offensive line coach Thomas Austin, running backs coach C.J. Spiller and wide receivers coach Tyler Grisham all got one-year extensions through Jan. 31, 2025.

New offensive coordinator Garrett Riley last month received a three-year contract at $1.75 million per season.

Clemson will pay its 10 on-field assistants $7.475 million this season, an increase of $925,000 from the total for 2022.

The Tigers went 11-3 last season, winning the Atlantic Coast Conference title for the seventh time in the past eight seasons.

South Carolina’s Beamer suspends three freshmen from program

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COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina coach Shane Beamer said freshmen Monteque Rhames II, Anthony Rose and Cameron Upshaw were suspended from the football program.

There was no reason given for the suspensions in the school’s statement Friday. Online records showed Rhames, 18, was booked last night and was being held at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center on charges of carrying weapons on school property and obstructing justice.

“Our student-athletes know what is expected of them,” Beamer said. “They know that both the university and the football program will hold them accountable for their actions and decisions.”

None of the three have played for the Gamecocks.

Rose is a 6-foot-1, 190-pound defensive back from Miami who enrolled in January 2022 and redshirted this season. Rhames and Upshaw were part of South Carolina’s latest recruiting class and enrolled last month.

Rhames is a 6-5, 235-pound defensive lineman from Sumter and Upshaw is a 6-2, 193-pound safety from Perry, Florida.