Note: The following appears in the Wake Forest football gameday program.
Transfer and former Alabama and Arizona State quarterback Paul Tyson arrived in Tigertown shortly after the 2022 season. With an opportunity as a graduate to play for one of the most renowned programs in the country on his mind, Tyson visited one of Clemson’s Orange Bowl practices in Tigertown in December.
“I didn’t know much about Clemson coming out of high school. I visited a few times and it was fun. Having the opportunity to go to their bowl practice and to sit down with Coach (Dabo) Swinney made it clear that there couldn’t be a better option than Clemson.”
Shortly after his arrival, Tyson dislocated his thumb during a spring practice. Determined to stay locked in, he did whatever he could to stay in tune with the game.
“It was an eight-to-10-week recovery. I missed the Spring Game and the prep leading up to it, so it was tough. I did as much as I could do. In May, rather than going home, I stayed to learn the offense. During practice, I would sit back 30-40 yards from the play and try to rep it out by myself so I could stay locked in and efficient.”
Tyson was born and raised in Trussville, Ala. and is the great-grandson of legendary Crimson Tide Head Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. During Bryant’s 25-year tenure as Alabama’s head coach, he impacted many lives. Tyson hopes to live up to his legacy.
“My great-grandfather laid a foundation for me that I want to live up to and make him proud. It gave me an opportunity to love football and made me who I am today. Being a great-grandson and being in the sports industry right now playing, I want to take full advantage of that. I want to be as similar as I can to him, but I know that my path now is different, and I also want to be the best person I can be.”
Playing football since first grade, Tyson has worked with many coaches. Although a recent addition to the team, Clemson’s coaches have been in his corner since day one. Noting how both Swinney and Offensive Coordinator Garrett Riley care about him as a player and person, Tyson is grateful for the way they have invested in him.
“It’s been awesome learning from such great coaches. Coach Swinney has such an amazing perspective on everything, including life and football. Coach Swinney cares so much about your life off the field and how you’re doing. What sets him apart is he’s looking out for you as a person, and he’s looking to build you to be the best man you can be. Coach Riley is absolutely phenomenal and has a mindset like no other. He’s so well-managed, calm and collected in the moment, which brings a lot of composure to the quarterback room.”
In the midst of his fifth year, Tyson hopes to be around the sport for as long as he can. He has learned a lot from his experience as a player and desires to use it in the future.
“I’ve grown to learn so much about the game being in three different programs. Being under such great coaches is awesome. I’ve always heard when you love something, you run with it, and I have learned so much through playing football. I don’t know if I can give it up quite yet. I could definitely use some of this knowledge and maybe become a coach one day.”
Halfway through the season, Tyson hopes to contribute to the team any way he can, whether that be on the field, in the film room or as a teammate.