Spring Report Card: Quarterbacks
There were questions heading into the spring regarding depth at quarterback and some were worried how Charlie Whitehurst would respond to a disappointing season. On top of all these questions, the quarterbacks had to learn a new system under Rob Spence.
Spence has had a great reputation of developing quarterbacks going back to his days at Maryland with Scott Milanovich. Spence again appears to be working his magic and it starts with Whitehurst.
Whitehurst simply did not play very well last season. Whitehurst locked onto one receiver too often, and he made several bad throws. This spring the Whitehurst we saw in 2003 started to resurface. The timing between Whitehurst and his receivers was very impressive in the Orange and White game. He has also found his new favorite target in Chansi Stuckey. Whitehurst appears more settled in the pocket. Once again, he is making his drops in the pocket, and completing passes. Now the area he has to improve in is putting points on the board.
Will Proctor really came on strong this spring. It is pretty clear now that the Tigers have two quarterbacks that are capable of winnining games. Proctor has very limited game experience, but he definitely looks ready to play. His athleticism and throwing accuracy give him the potential to really shine in Spence's offense. Proctor is by far the most mobile of the four scholarship quarterbacks. Ideally, Clemson would have a chance to get Proctor some live game reps early in the season. With a brutal early schedule, it is not likely Proctor will see live bullets until the Temple game. The staff could potentially script one or two possessions early in the season to further prepare Proctor.
Highly touted redshirt freshmen Tribble Reese and Cullen Harper continue to show improvement. Reese appears to be ahead of Harper at the end of the spring. Both freshmen are extremely intelligent and have great work ethics. Reese and Harper would have been perfect fits under Mike O'Cain. Under Spence, they need to improve their footwork and throwing accuracy while on the run.
The quarterbacks still showed a tendency to lock on a receiver and made some poor decisions that could be costly in the Fall. All four have shown improvement, but all will benefit from a summer and fall camp under Spence.