Tanner Tessmann was all set to be a two-sport athlete at Clemson next fall, having committed to play soccer for the Tigers and kick for longtime family friend Dabo Swinney and the football team.
Instead, however, Tessmann is opting to take the professional route.
Tessmann signed a homegrown contract with FC Dallas on Thursday afternoon, and will be with the club through 2022 with club options for the 2023 and 2024 seasons.
A lot of thought went in to @frantanjam5's decision to choose FC Dallas over Clemson.— FC Dallas (@FCDallas) February 28, 2020
"I had to do what's best for me at the end of the day. I'm sorry to Clemson fans." 🗨️#DTID | #SomosFCD pic.twitter.com/K109Mp4rx0
Tessmann, a Hoover, Alabama, native, joined FC Dallas Academy in 2016 and has scored 25 goals in 67 appearances for its U.S. Soccer Development Academy. The 18-year-old played in 14 games and scored once for its USL League One team last year, too.
"I'm excited to get started," Tessmann said in a statement, via ESPN. "Signing a professional contract has been a goal of mine since I moved to Texas to join the Academy at 14 years old. I've made a lot of sacrifices to get this opportunity, so it meant a lot to have my family here with me today."
Swinney has been extremely impressed with Tessmann, who is also his godson, for years. He and Tessman’s father are longtime friends, and Tessmann’s dad run’s Swinney’s All-In Foundation, too, per the Greenville News. Tessmann, despite never playing high school football, drilled a 65-yard field goal during a Clemson camp last summer.
“This guy is an amazing athlete — I mean amazing,” Swinney said in December, via the Greenville News. “He is a potential Deshaun Watson-type guy for soccer. To have the opportunity to have a guy who can come and play both sports and do it at such a high level is unbelievable … He can kick it left-footed, right-footed, however far you need him to kick it. He can punt it, he can kick off. He’s just a raw guy when it comes to kicking the football because he’s always been kicking the soccer ball.”
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