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Swinney on Watson: He'll play when he's ready


  by - Senior Writer - Friday, July 25, 2014 2:50 PM
    |

Watson injured his collarbone in the spring but should be ready for fall camp

GREENSBORO, NC – Clemson head coach Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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and offensive coordinator Chad MorrisChad Morris
Offensive Coordinator / QBs
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have done just a fraction of the interviews that they will be a part of this season, but there is already a recurring theme to the questions that have been and will be asked.

How soon will Deshaun WatsonDeshaun Watson
Fr. Quarterback
#4 6-3, 190
Gainesville, GA

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play? When will he be a starter? How soon before he takes over for senior Cole StoudtCole Stoudt
Sr. Quarterback
#18 6-4, 205
Dublin, OH

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? Will a 1-2 start by the Tigers mean that a change is coming at quarterback?

At the ACC Kickoff in Greensboro earlier this week, Swinney was once again bombarded with questions from the assembled media about the former 5-star prospect who arrived on campus back in January and made a huge impression during spring practice.

In 56 games at Gainesville (GA) High School, Watson’s numbers were incredible. For his career, Watson was 939-of-1458 for 13,077 yards and 155 touchdowns with 29 INT; He had 618 carries for 4,057 yards and 59 touchdowns as a runner. As a senior, he was 273-of-412 for 3,775 yards and 47 touchdowns with eight interceptions. On the ground, he carried the ball 143 times for 1,057 yards and 14 touchdowns. An added bonus – he also had two receiving touchdowns as a senior and had three for his career.

During Swinney’s session with the league’s writers, one reporter leaned in and asked Swinney about Watson, but reminded everyone within earshot that Watson would be the starter only when he was completely ready.

“Deshaun has the qualities to be a special football player,” Swinney said. “He will be if he stays healthy – he’ll be a great player in this league for several years. Just like how I knew Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
Quarterback (2009 - 2013)
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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was going to be a great player. We had Kyle ParkerKyle Parker
Quarterback (2008 - 2010)
#11 6-1, 200
Jacksonville, FL

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and when Kyle Parker was the starter – we had to bring Tajh along, and when he was ready – he was ready.”

Swinney then slipped in the caveat that Watson was ahead of where Boyd was at the same stage in their careers.

“I think Deshaun is way ahead of where Tajh was as a true freshman,” Swinney said. “It’s not even close because of the background and doing what we do. As far as how that translates to the season? I don’t know.”

The quarterback competition – once expected to be a three-way battle among Stoudt, Watson and Chad KellyChad Kelly
RS Fr. Quarterback
#11 6-2, 210
Buffalo, NY

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– took a strange twist following the spring game when Kelly was dismissed from the program for conduct detrimental to the team.

Swinney was quick to note that Stoudt has earned the job as the starter, and that Watson will push Stoudt enough to keep the senior at the top of his game.

“Cole earned the job hands-down this spring, clearly was the starter and has done nothing to lose that,” Swinney said. “But he also knows just because he was named the starter in spring that he can't go out and play like a dog in practice and throw a bunch of interceptions and all that. There’s no lifetime contract. The quarterback is no different than left guard or defensive tackle. Every day you have a competitive situation – you have to perform.”

So, what would be a “perfect world” scenario for Watson’s freshman season?

“I think if everything went well – Cole plays at the level we expect him to,” Swinney said. “That’d be great to bring along a young guy like that and get him some experience instead of throwing him in the fire. You play the hand that you’re dealt.”

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Post your comments
Subject (Replies: 29) Author
New Story: Swinney on Watson: He'll play when he's ready
TigerNet News®
Sounds like it would be an interesting article.***
Smiling Tiger®
you can read it when it's ready.***
tiger_swimmer®
That's probably best.***
Smiling Tiger®
Re: Sounds like it would be an interesting article.***
davidhood®
The link herein gets me to "Page Not Found", but I was
Smiling Tiger®
Working now!***
Smiling Tiger®
David, looks like Crump/BMeist's forum rules are
CUgrad2011
that is so hot
Louie Le Lip®
Wait. Why did you say it is "so hot?"
Completely Solid Orange®
Re: Wait. Why did you say it is "so hot?"
Tigerbalm1®
Re: Wait. Why did you say it is "so hot?"
Completely Solid Orange®
Guess he's not ready.***
Country Gentleman®
Re: Guess he's not ready.***
ClemsonTiger1988®
Re: New Story: Swinney on Watson: He'll play when he's ready
Motor City Bengal
Re: New Story: Swinney on Watson: He'll play when he's ready
slumdog
Re: New Story: Swinney on Watson: He'll play when he's ready
nikkisteele®
Re: New Story: Swinney on Watson: He'll play when he's ready
Purple_Panther
Nah,
ClemsonTiger1988®
Re: New Story: Swinney on Watson: He'll play when he's ready
bobbymc47®
Re: New Story: Swinney on Watson: He'll play when he's ready
slumdog
Willy Korn was the greatest QB we ever had
Smiling Tiger®
Agree. I'd rather see 2 different NC+Heisman winning CU QBs!
Razzmatazz
We've been hearing Watson ran this same offense in HS
CUgrad2011
Re: Agree. I'd rather see 2 different NC+Heisman winning CU QBs!
footballmanager
Re: New Story: Swinney on Watson: He'll play when he's ready
bigb1368
We talked about this transition all week.
ClemsonTiger1988®
In the meantime, Cole will shine and win for us.***
Orangetiger70®
So he might not play vs UGA? i'm confused.***
truetiger1998
Re: New Story: Swinney on Watson: He'll play when he's ready
Udamannclem

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