FRISCO, Texas - FC Dallas Academy product Tanner Tessmannhas been described as “[someone who is] as good an athlete as I’ve ever seen,” according to Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney. Tessmann will now get the chance to prove it, as he commits to Clemson to play Division I Soccer… and Division I Football.
“To finally sign and be committed and be expected to go, I am really excited and can’t wait to start,” Tessmann said when asked about how he felt about the upcoming opportunity. “The chance to go to this program and play with this group of guys is something I can’t turn down.
Tessmann has been a highly touted prospect in the FC Dallas pipeline for some time. He scored both goals in the U-19 semifinal match in their quest for the 2019 DA Cup, and also spent a significant period of time at the professional level for North Texas SC, making his first appearance, start and scoring his first goal under head coach NTSC Eric Quill.
While Tessmann has some football experience, it is in the distant past and at a very different level than a Division I Football team that will be entering the College Football Playoff for the 5thyear in a row. “I kicked in middle school, but that was about it,” Tessmann said when talking about his past experience with Football. “But when I moved to FC Dallas in 9th grade, I stopped playing football.”
Despite the prestige of the Clemson Football program, Tessmann is still wholeheartedly committed to the sport he chose in 9thgrade: soccer. “Going pro in soccer has been dream since I was a kid, and for me I think it is within reach. I want to play soccer all around the world. But why wouldn’t I take advantage of the situation to contribute to both programs?”
Just because his focus is on soccer for the moment, that does not mean that Tessmann might not end up having a successful professional career in football. Clemson Coach Dabo Swinney is incredibly complimentary of Tessmann and his skillset. “[H]e comes around and gets out there and plays arounds and kicks the ball… and it’s amazing to watch him develop. Think BT Potter but much taller.”
Despite the challenges that come from being a student athlete, without even mentioning both teams which will training nearly year-round, the young central midfielder/kicker is convinced he can rise to the challenge. “Of course it is going to be tough. But once I get a schedule going, and a routine, and when we have things settled, I going to try and win a national championship in two sports.”
Even as he heads off to Clemson, Tessmann can hardly believe how the past four years at the academy level have gone. “As a kid from Alabama, I didn’t know what I was doing. I’ve come such a long way with FC Dallas, and I don’t know that I can ever repay them for my development and the opportunities they gave me. It was a hard decision [for my family] but looking back it was a great decision my family made.”
Tessmann will move to South Carolina with a hard task ahead of him. After learning and training in the FC Dallas Academy, it would be no surprise to see the name Tanner Tessmann in the headlines for either soccer or football in the near future.