The chief objective for the Clemson Tigers this spring is to find a new starting quarterback with the graduation of Tajh Boyd.
Right now it’s a three-man race between Cole Stoudt, Chad Kelly and Deshaun Watson.
Stoudt appeared in eight games for the Tigers last season, completing 47 of 59 pass attempts for 415 yards and five touchdowns. Kelly played in five games, completing 10 of 17 pass attempts for 58 yards.
Watson is a true-freshman early-enrollee. The five-star from Gainesville, Ga. was ranked the No. 1 dual-threat QB in the county by Rivals for the 2014 class.
Offensive coordinator Chad Morris said that Watson is hanging with Stoudt (a senior) and Kelly (redshirt sophomore) so far this spring and that the trio of signal callers will split reps during the team’s first spring scrimmage on Monday.
“I think it’s still a three-person race,” Morris said. “I think all three of them are working extremely hard, and all three of them have had their days, all three of them have had not so good days. We will have a better understanding after Monday and try and settle in with a guy for the rest of the week after Monday’s performance. We will gauge it and judge it and go from there.”
In addition to grading his quarterback’s performance in the scrimmage, Morris also said he would like to see how the three players reacted to live contact this spring. According to Larry Williams of Tigers Illustrated Morris wants the QBs to be full contact at some point this coming week.
Morris on QB contact: “I think these guys need to be hit. They need to be live and we need to see if they can make plays with their feet.”
— Larry Williams (@LarryWilliamsTI) March 28, 2014
Seeing how each player reacts to being hit and avoiding live pressure will only help Morris choose his future quarterback and I think it’s something that more programs could benefit during the spring. Now that doesn’t mean that the QBs need to be live running the read-option, but it should be beneficial in the decision-making process that will likely continue into fall camp.