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Clemson Football Player Leaves Program To Play Professional Soccer

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CLEMSON, SC - SEPTEMBER 15: The Clemson Tigers Rally Cats perform during a stoppage in play of the Tigers' football game against the Georgia Southern Eagles at Clemson Memorial Stadium on September 15, 2018 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images)

Few college football kicker recruits have gotten their head coach more excited than Tanner Tessmann got Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney last year. After signing Tessmann to a full scholarship in December, Swinney spoke glowingly about him after getting his signature. Unfortunately for Swinney, it looks like he'll never get the chance to coach the son of his close friends.

According to 3rd Degree's Buzz Carrick, Tessmann is leaving Clemson to sign a Major League Soccer Homegrown contract with FC Dallas. Tessmann has been a prospect for the US Youth National Soccer Team for years. He has been playing soccer professionally as a midfielder at lower-tier North Texas SC.

Swinney explained back in December that he had his eye on Tessmann for a long time. Per Clemson247, Swinney revealed Tessman's father PJ Tessmann is one of his best friends, and that Tanner's uncle married his sister-in-law.

But Swinney was just as impressed with Tessmann's leg as he was with any family relations. Tessmann reportedly booted a 65-yard field goal with his right foot, and a 50-yarder with his left.

At the time of Tessmann's signing with Clemson, Swinney expressed his hope that he would be able to win national titles with both the football team and the soccer team.

Via Clemson247:

"Hopefully he'll have the opportunity to win national championships in two sports at Clemson before he gets out of here," Swinney said.

But with a chance to go pro and start making money in his teens, the appeal of signing an MLS contract must have been too great.

Good luck in the pros, Tanner!

[3rd Degree]