2014 Forecast: Deshaun Watson's impact a tough call among intriguing freshman class

Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) throws the ball during the first day of Spring practice on Wednesday.

Photo by Sefton Ipock

Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) throws the ball during the first day of Spring practice on Wednesday.

Wrapping up the individual projections, we tackle some of the tougher outlooks: the freshmen.

There’s a few schools of thought on five-star talent Deshaun Watson.

One, he was 1A to Cole Stoudt in spring practice, and back to 100 percent by August, he’ll charge to the front of the pack by the opener.

Two, Stoudt will get his chance, but Watson’s off-the-charts potential shines through at some point this season to takeover the job.

Then there’s the one I and O&W contributor Marty Coleman are in – that Stoudt’s got a pretty handle on the offense and will do just fine to allow Watson to take in this season and prepare for next in a backup role.

He’s not the only intriguing freshman when it comes to playing time this season…

Projections – Deshaun Watson

Brandon Rink – OrangeandWhite.com

2014 Outlook(12 games): 65 cmp% – 195 PY – 4 TDs/1 INT – 120 RY/1 TD – 5 total TDs

Marty Coleman – SeldomUsedReserve.com

2014 Outlook: 57.1 cmp% – 173 PY – 2 TDs/1 INT – 88 RY/2 TDs – 4 total TDs

Five star players don't enroll early to sit, but Watson was injured in the spring and sat out the spring game. That was a setback in Watson's drive to start and it's going to be difficult to overcome when the competition has 3 years in the offense.

Many fans and pundits believe Watson will start at some point in the season, if not in week 1 vs. Georgia. Others think Stoudt starts but Watson sees significant time and perhaps eventually takes over. As my forecast for Stoudt indicated, I believe in Cole Stoudt more than that.

Watson takes over next year and before he's done he challenges many of Tajh Boyd's records (assuming 4 years).

Trevion Thompson

Marty Coleman – SeldomUsedReserve.com

2014 Outlook: 16 receptions, 167 yards, 1 TD

Brandon Rink – OrangeandWhite.com

2014 Outlook: 5 receptions – 55 yards

A consensus 4-star receiver, the Durham product (6-3 188) should have his shot at playing time – maybe most on the boundary with Mike Williams, but he will also be a bit behind the curve of the three January enrollees. Fall camp will be key to carving out some 2014 playing time.

Tyshon Dye

Marty Coleman – SeldomUsedReserve.com

2014 Outlook: 22 carries, 101 yards, 1 TD

Perhaps the most difficult running back to get a read on because of injuries he's suffered since arriving at Clemson.

Dye has redshirted (back injury), but his subsequent Achilles injury makes him a huge question mark in 2014. With three experienced backs ahead of him along with fellow redshirt freshman Wayne Gallman, it's going to be difficult for Dye to see the field for any extended amount of time.

Brandon Rink – OrangeandWhite.com

2014 Outlook: 12 carries – 60 yards

Hard to disagree with Marty, Dye likely needs a season just to fully recover – playing here and there to build towards competing for the starting job in 2015.

Adam Choice

Brandon Rink – OrangeandWhite.com

2014 Outlook: 32 carries – 180 yards – 2 TD

A converted high school QB, Dabo Swinney is pretty confident Choice is an instant-impact kind of player. Enrolling this summer, he will compete for his place on the depth chart going into Athens.

Marty Coleman – SeldomUsedReserve.com

2014 Outlook: Redshirt

For more on the Tiger freshmen, check out SeldomUsedReserve's breakdown

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Comments » 4

lhaselden writes:

I would like to see one of the freshman (possibly a RS) excel at KR! It never gelled last year... Adam Humphries improved at PR over the course of the year until the 2 fumble debacle at Columbia! One was not his fault... but I would like to see us get better at the return game. That and place kicker are the biggest holes that I see in the team.

fasttiger44#293363 writes:

This may wind up being a no brainer or it could be a colossal problem for the coaches and the team. A problem in a good way. If Stout can run the offense like he did in blowout games, he will play as the number one QB all year and Watson may even get red shirted but I doubt it. On the other hand, Watson may be such a good passer and runner it would be foolish not to make him the starter. If he is capable of taking it to the end zone via foot on a scramble or throw a bullet for a 40 yard completion we good a problem. A good problem. And I can't wait to see what happens!

TigerNE writes:

The risks are just as high or higher that starting Watson at any point during most of the season will bring unwanted problems. Stoudt would have to struggle big time for Watson to be brought in. He won't likely be up to speed with the Morris plan and be prone to mistakes.

And I think if Dye doesn't make a run for some serious time this year his college career may be near the end. Gallman and the guys coming up behind him will put him the 3rd spot or so.

CstandsforCowtown writes:

Watson would be be better suited to redshirt at 6'4 185 pounds. Dabo probably promised him playing time (like he did Fuller's jersey number) so he'll get garbage time against SC State and GA State like Stoudt did last year. If he plays any more than that it's probably because Stoudt's not getting the job done.

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