Dabo Swinney says he's not worried about what senior QB-1 Cole Stoudt is hearing about five-star freshman Deshaun Watson.
He says his new signal-caller sees enough in practice to be on watch.
"It’s not Deshaun talk. It’s Deshaun performance," Swinney said. "Cole’s at practice every day. These guys are big boys. This isn’t youth-league football. We all know everybody. They knew about Deshaun before he even got here. It’s a great relationship that we have in our quarterback room right now. Chad does a great job of managing that. Everybody understands and respects that everybody wants to be the guy – and everybody can’t be the guy."
Tigers rotating RBs
There's more than enough reason to believe Watson will bring a challenge once fall camp starts early August.
One of the top QBs in the 2014 class, the mid-year enrollee won a GHSA AAAA championship at Gainesville, totaling over 13,000 career passing yards with 155 passing scores. On the ground, the now-listed 6-3 190 dual-threat rushed for over 4,000 yards with 59 more touchdowns.
At the collegiate level, Stoudt - four spring practices in and one more fall camp to go - has been steady in spot duty with a 72.3 career completion percentage, eight touchdowns to one interception.
Swinney says it's clear out of spring who gives the Tigers the best chance to succeed, but the job is performance-based...which can change at any point.
"The best guy is going to be play," Swinney said. "Right now, Cole is the best guy and gives us the best chance to win. Is that going to be the same six weeks from now? I don’t know. Then we have some performance to continue to make decisions on. There’s not lifetime contracts where you’re the starter and you’re the starter for the year."
Regardless, the Tigers' coach is confident in his QB chemistry - something that's been beneficial in recent history.
"Cole is very well much aware of the talent of Deshaun and respects that," Swinney said. "That’s what leaders do – they help bring others along. When Kyle Parker was the quarterback here, he knew Tajh was going to be a great player. He did everything he could to help him with his development and I don’t think you’ll see anything different with those guys."