Big Day in QB Battle

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Big Day in QB Battle

Today is the biggest day so far in terms of determining the starting quarterback for the upcoming 2014 season. Today is the first scrimmage of the spring.

Many thought this would be a two-man race but Clemson offensive coordinator and quarterback coach Chad MorrisChad Morris
Offensive Coordinator / QBs
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continues to say that all three quarterbacks are still in the race.

Also, many believed the staff would like the battle to continue into the fall but Morris and Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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have said they would love to name a starter by the end of the spring. This would allow the starer to get most of the work with the front line guys over the summer workouts.

Another factor is the new rule that allows the coaching staff to work two hours a week with players throughout the summer. This is another reason why the staff would love to name a starter.

So far Cole StoudtCole Stoudt
Sr. Quarterback
#18 6-4, 205
Dublin, OH

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

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and Deshawn Watson have competed with in individual drills, skeleton drills and team drills but when the Tigers open up this August in Athens against Georgia, they won't be keeping score on individual drills, skeleton drills or team drills. What we the staff will see today is how each will lead the offense in the team's first full scrimmage of the spring.

The media is limited in the time we get to see the practices and today will be another closed session but there have been no major surprises so far. According to reports, Stoudt has picked up right where he left off last fall. He has been accurate in his passing game and continues to have the confidence of his teammates. Kelly is an extremely confident player that thinks he is the best option and his swagger has not gone unnoticed. He is a terrific athlete that might be the best combination of passing and running skills. Kelly is firmly entrenched in this battle. Finally, Watson has not only held his own against the more experienced signal callers, but some think he has outperformed Stoudt and Kelly at times.

All three quarterbacks have more question marks around them than Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
Quarterback (2009 - 2013)
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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had to endure. Gone are several NFL wide receivers and a couple of 1,000 yard rushers. The new quarterback will not have experienced weapons around him. So the bigger question may be what is Morris looking for in his quarterback? If he is looking for a guy that will manage the game and give Clemson's experienced defense a chance to win the game, then maybe Stoudt is the best answer. If he is concerned about the inexperience at wide receiver, maybe Kelly is the best answer. Many think he is the best at the zone read and his feet could help out the running game. If Morris beliefs Watson has the biggest upside, maybe he is ready to willing to go through some growing pains and play the rare true freshman card at starting quarterback.

It is my hypothesis that Morris is pleasantly surprised at the competition. While he would love for one to separate from the others, he probably likes something all three bring to the table.

I don't think we will get the final answer after the first scrimmage today but my guess is that we will see more answers today than we have in the first seven practices. That is what scrimmages are all about.

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Thomasville, GA

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# 0, 0

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and family, Catherine Sewell, Randy Davenport, Patrick DeStefanoPatrick DeStefano
Offensive Line (2012 - 2013)
#71 6-5, 275
Spartanburg, SC

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, David Vaughn, Keith Dalton, B.T., Bill Hilbig, Rita Elrod Hammond and family, Rebecca Davis, Jim McKeller, and our great country and the men and women in uniform that protect and serve it every day, plus their families.

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