Phommachanh was the primary backup this season (when healthy) and saw action in six different games, logging a total of 43 snaps. As a sophomore, he completed 11 of his 19 passes for 131 yards and a TD while rushing for 69 yards and another TD.
A four-star prospect out of Bridgeport, CT, Phommachanh was rated as high as the #4 overall dual-threat QB in the 2019 class. After sitting behind Trevor Lawrence his freshman year, the sophomore was expected to push DJ Uiagalelei for the starting job/handle backup responsibilities this year, but he tore his achilles in the spring game and wasn’t able to see as much practice as expected.
When he saw playing time, Phommachanh showed flashes with his dual-threat abilities, but also never was able to truly threaten DJ’s starting spot. With Cade Klubnik arriving on campus for the 2022 season, Phommachanh must have decided he wanted to look elsewhere if he wanted significant playing time.
Frank Ladson was another name in the list of “potential stars at WR” who everyone was hoping would finally put it together for a breakout season in 2021. Unfortunately, injuries continued to plague the junior and he failed to make any impact whatsoever this season, seeing only 137 snaps over five games.
Ladson’s career is one of the more disappointing busts at this point in recent memory for Clemson, especially at the WR position. The Miami native was rated as high as a five-star by recruiting services and was considered the 39th overall prospect in the 2019 class. Ironically, Ladson and Phommachanh both committed to Clemson on the same day - April 14th, 2018.
Unfortunately for Ladson, his five-star rating never really materialized at Clemson. After collecting 27 receptions for 409 yards and 6 TD’s in his first two seasons, the junior only managed to grab 4 catches in the 2021 season while battling injuries for most of the year.
With Ladson and Phommachanh entering the portal, Clemson has now bid farewell to eight different players this year. As always, we hope they find success wherever they seek playing time next.