Dabo Swinney expecting spirited competition this spring for backup QB spot

Coach happy to let battle play out over next several months between Cole Stoudt, Chad Kelly

Clemson wide receiver Daniel Rodriguez shows his excitement entering the field with quarterbacks Chad Kelly, left, and Tajh Boyd, right, for the first official day of practice.

Photo by Ken Ruinard

Clemson wide receiver Daniel Rodriguez shows his excitement entering the field with quarterbacks Chad Kelly, left, and Tajh Boyd, right, for the first official day of practice.

As far as Dabo Swinney is concerned, the more competition that the Tigers can muster at the quarterback position, the better for his team, and program, in both the long run and short run.

With numbers limited - Morgan Roberts left the program during the off-season and Tony McNeal has chosen to give up football because of injuries - all the quarterbacks on Clemson's roster should get plenty of reps this spring.

Dabo Swinney said on Tuesday that Clemson will go into spring practice with a 1-2-3 pecking order of Tajh Boyd, Cole Stoudt and Chad Kelly. Also working at the position will be redshirt freshman Nick Schuessler, a teammate of signees Wayne Gallman and Ryan Carter who led Grayson High to a state title in 2011 and originally signed with Mississippi State, and veteran backup Donny McElveen.

He expects strong competition for the No. 2 spot between Stoudt and Kelly, but isn't concerned if the roles aren't decided by the end of spring drills.

“As far as somebody separating this spring, I don’t know that that will happen, but I’m sure by the time we get ready to crank it up and play the Bulldogs, we’ll know who’s going in as the No. 2 guy and who’s No. 3,” Swinney said. “Hopefully this next year we’ll have an opportunity to play more than one guy a little bit more often.”

Stoudt, who has served as Boyd's backup for the past two seasons, played in eight games last fall and 27 of 39 passes for 212 yards and three scores.

Kelly joins the competition after a record-setting high school career in Buffalo, N.Y. Both come pro football families. Stoudt's dad, Cliff, was a long-time NFL backup quarterback, while Kelly's uncle, Jim, is an NFL Hall of Famer.

“Right now Cole is clearly our No. 2 guy, but I think it’s going to be an interesting battle,” Swinney said. "Cole is a heck of a player, and he's performed well for us and has helped us win games. He’s the only other guy with any experience.

"He doesn’t get the credit he deserves, but he’s been a proven part of our success the last couple of years. We have confidence in a guy like him who's ready to go in there for Tajh if needed."

Kelly, he said "turned some heads in fall camp."

"I don’t think there’s any question that’s going to be a fun competition," Swinney said. "That’s the way it should be. I don’t have any doubt those two are going to compete their tails off this spring in trying to win that second-team spot."

© 2013 OrangeAndWhite.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Comments » 10

TigerMarine writes:

Cole is like lambs to the slaughter. Kelly is going to destroy him provided he can keep his tail out of trouble. Granted we haven't heard a peep out of him since this time last year which is promising on that front ! Either way competition is best for all.

Bleedsorange writes:

I hate to say this but Cole is quite a small guy,even though he has huge dedication I fear he could not take a big hit.

Blkdawg writes:

S.E.C. Enough said.

TigerMarine writes:

Aren't Auburn & LSU an sec schools ? You can try that crap on just about every other team in FBS but Clemson was 2 for 3 against the sec last year. I don't give a crap about the rest of the ACC and how horrible they may be. Trolls like you on the other hand cling to the fact that SOMEBODY ELSE in their conference has won the national championship the past few years. Georgia-chicken fans come back and talk all the crap u want WHEN YOU WIN A NC not somebody else!

33dtb writes:

in response to TigerMarine:

Aren't Auburn & LSU an sec schools ? You can try that crap on just about every other team in FBS but Clemson was 2 for 3 against the sec last year. I don't give a crap about the rest of the ACC and how horrible they may be. Trolls like you on the other hand cling to the fact that SOMEBODY ELSE in their conference has won the national championship the past few years. Georgia-chicken fans come back and talk all the crap u want WHEN YOU WIN A NC not somebody else!

Amen.!

There's only two (2) real teams in the SEC and we just beat one of them.
Can't figure WHY we've been beaten 4 times by the gamecocks, but actually they've just now caught up with us on the "4-counts". We've both beaten other 4 in a row twice.
Course the series overall is STRONGLY in Clemson's favor.
And as one of our Trustees once famously said on a bumper sticker "celebrating" gamecocks 100 years of football......"Anybody can have a LOSING 100 years !"

FutureClemsonFootballPlayer writes:

in response to 33dtb:

Amen.!

There's only two (2) real teams in the SEC and we just beat one of them.
Can't figure WHY we've been beaten 4 times by the gamecocks, but actually they've just now caught up with us on the "4-counts". We've both beaten other 4 in a row twice.
Course the series overall is STRONGLY in Clemson's favor.
And as one of our Trustees once famously said on a bumper sticker "celebrating" gamecocks 100 years of football......"Anybody can have a LOSING 100 years !"

uh broskie, we've 4-peated the Lamecocks 8 times in our history to their 2,
Clemson 4-peats
1897-1900
1916-1919
1927-1930
1934-1940 (7!!)
80-83
88-91
97-2000
02-05
SCAR's 4-peats
51-54
09-12

Yeah, they've got quite a lot of catching up to do in the 4-peat department as well as the most wins in a row.

Clemorange writes:

Anybody who actually knows Clemson realizes how special it is and what a wonderful place it is to be and I love the fact that heads are turning back our way but I can't help but to fear that it may somehow change clemson. It has its own atmosphere I don't wanna see it change. Some of my earliest memories were born there.

jarheadtiger writes:

I appreciate the fact that Cole has worked hard, but I have yet to see anything from him the last two seasons that gave me any confidence that he could come in and play at anywhere near the level we are looking for should Tajh go down. I would really love to be wrong on this, or at least, never have to see for myself, but I dont feel so great about it. Kelly at least we dont know anything yet. To some of the more Senior Members, was Cole a hevaliy recruited kid? I honestly cant recall even hearing his name until he was on the team

Big_Cat writes:

I think we are can all question and try to figure this all out. But none or very few of us are on that practice field day in and day out. The coaches are and constantly evaluating these guys to the smallest detail. If Morris and Dabo say Cole is the # guy and beat out Kelley, then that's that or vice versa. My hope is that Watson follows thru w/ his commitment and come to TigerTown in the 2014. I think he can play in front of both these guys. But at the end of the day, lets get the best QB and other players on the field whomever that is

33dtb writes:

in response to Clemorange:

Anybody who actually knows Clemson realizes how special it is and what a wonderful place it is to be and I love the fact that heads are turning back our way but I can't help but to fear that it may somehow change clemson. It has its own atmosphere I don't wanna see it change. Some of my earliest memories were born there.

We sat around the office one day after the National Championship..........counted up ......and realized that Clemson (town AND Campus) had a total of three (3) STOPLIGHTS at the time...

Share your thoughts

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Click here for our full user agreement.

Comments can be shared on Facebook and Yahoo!. Add both options by connecting your profiles.

Features