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Watson's time starts sooner rather than later

  by - Senior Writer - Monday, April 14, 2014 9:50 PM

Watson will have to soak up all he can from Chad Morris before football season.

Chad KellyChad Kelly
RS So. Quarterback
#11 6-2, 210
Buffalo, NY

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is no longer a part of Clemson’s quarterback rotation and somewhere around Clemson, Deshaun WatsonDeshaun Watson
Fr. Quarterback
#4 6-3, 190
Gainesville, GA

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is working on rehabilitating his fractured collarbone with a renewed sense of purpose.

Kelly and senior Cole StoudtCole Stoudt
Sr. Quarterback
#18 6-4, 205
Dublin, OH

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were locked up in a heated competition for the right to be the starter when Clemson plays at Georgia in late August, while the coaching staff hoped that those two played well enough to hold off the talented Gainesville native long enough for Watson to redshirt, add some muscle and weight and wait his turn.

That process has now been accelerated with the news of Kelly’s dismissal, and while it now appears that Stoudt is a lock to be the starter, Watson now has to prepare himself like he’s the starter. Why? Despite the presence of Nick SchuesslerNick Schuessler
RS So. Quarterback
#3 6-3, 185
Grayson, GA

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– who did an admirable job Saturday – Watson is like any other backup quarterback and is just one play away from being the starter.

I had already written up some thoughts on Watson and was prepared to post them in another story, but now they seem a little more real and carry a little more weight, and they concerned what I’ve heard over the past week and what I heard Saturday.

I know, the talented freshman didn’t play Saturday. But he was all over the field, chasing Morris from sideline to sideline, and he was very much a part of everything that went on. It would have been easy for him to use the injury as an excuse, but he ran what looked like a couple of miles chasing Morris.

And, I wanted to pass all of this along. I’ve said from the beginning that I was sure the coaches wanted to redshirt Watson, and that while they said it was a three-way competition, the plan was to redshirt him. However, I had one observer tell me after a recent practice that Watson looked the best of the three during that one practice, and then the high school coach of one of our current players texted me Saturday and said that the current player says Watson is “the truth.”

During the game, former quarterback Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
Quarterback (2009 - 2013)
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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came up to the press box and sat down beside me for a quarter or so, and he told me that Watson is as talented as any quarterback he’s ever seen. He then said that he thinks Watson will break all of his records before all is said and done. That’s high praise.

Following the game, I asked one player who he thought might be the front-runner heading into the season opener, and he looked around (like he had a secret), put his finger to his lips like he had secret, and whispered Watson’s name. Maybe one report like that I can put aside. But when you start hearing how Watson looked as the spring wore on, it makes you think that that just maybe Watson will be as good as advertised.

Now, things have changed, and while Schuessler will get more and more reps, there is no doubt that this will be a two-way competition in the fall. Watson has to prepare like he will be the starter. How much will he play? Can he unseat Stoudt? Would the coaches let Schuessler be the backup and still try and redshirt Watson, hoping beyond hope that Stoudt stays healthy all season?

Those questions won’t be answered right now, and we won’t really get a chance to talk to any of the coaches until July. That’s a long time to wait, a long time to have questions. As of right now, however, we can only speculate that the Deshaun Watson era will begin sooner rather than later.

I had another player tell me that while Watson displayed plenty of moxie during spring practice, he thought a redshirt year would be best for the freshman. Redshirt years worked wonders for Jameis Winston and Johnny Manziel, and no doubt could help Watson. But if he is indeed The Truth, the truth is about to be let out in a big way.

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    Morris talks short-yardage, Watson starting and mindset of Stoudt - 21 hours ago
    Chad Morris told the media Monday morning in the WestZone that it never crossed his mind to put quarterback Deshaun Watson under center with the Tigers facing short-yardage situations on the goal line and late in the game in a fourth down situation. The reason? Trust. Full Story »
    Poise Under Pressure - 1 day ago
    Deshaun Watson scored his first career rushing touchdown Saturday night against Florida St., but those expecting the freshman to get excited, do a dance, spike the football or talk a little trash were sorely disappointed. Where does he get his calm demeanor? What does he say about being the starter and how did he learn of the start? Full Story »
    Final thoughts: Florida St. - 1 day ago
    Clemson's loss to top-ranked Florida St. Saturday night was an all-too familiar sensation for Clemson fans. The Tigers dominated much of the game, but still wound up losing. How do they get that killer instinct? Full Story »
    Watson to get the start Saturday; FSU film review - 2 days ago
    Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney reviewed the Florida St. loss for the media Sunday, talked about freshman Deshaun Watson getting the start next week and the injury situation. Full Story »
    Watson earns the starting job - 3 days ago
    On a muggy night in Tallahassee, freshman Deshaun Watson didn't back down from the pressure of playing on the road against the nation's number one team. Along the way, he earned a starting job. Full Story »

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Subject (Replies: 28) Author
New Story: Watson's time starts sooner rather than later
TigerNet News®
Re: New Story: Watson's time starts sooner rather than later
Re: New Story: Watson's time starts sooner rather than later
Re: New Story: Watson's time starts sooner rather than later
Stoudt will have to be near perfect and without injury
Re: Stoudt will have to be near perfect and without injury
No redshirt
I agree with you and even think he gets in some games when
I think a redshirt is out. DW will have to get some
The Truth will out..******
I also recall Boyd saying Kelly would be a breakout player***
Re: I also recall Boyd saying Kelly would be a breakout player***
Re: I also recall Boyd saying Kelly would be a breakout player***
Boyd was right. Kelly did break out... just not like hoped.***
Worry that Stoudt & Watson tOO light to stand the grind imo
Nah. Stoudt is stout.
Re: New Story: Watson's time starts sooner rather than later
"Tough road to hold"? A new T-net expression? Hoe! Hoe! Hoe!***
Go hoe in the road.... Good luck.***
Re: "Tough road to hold"? A new T-net expression? Hoe! Hoe! Hoe!***
It would be the first time I can remember...
Yep. Probably still TRY to redshirt Watson if Stoudt healthy***
Stoudt is our starter and will prove to be a darn good one.***
Stoudt's time begins now. Save your stories on Watson.***
Well, I said from day 1
Prime T. Tiger
Re: New Story: Watson's time starts sooner rather than later

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