Cole Stoudt's 'next level' potential: 'You only need one great year'

Dabo Swinney: 'He's been a team guy. He could have been starting at a lot of other places - a lot of other places'

MARK CRAMMER/INDEPENDENT MAIL
Clemson quarterback Cole Stoudt, center, throws a pass during the Tigers’ spring game on April 12.

Photo by Mark Crammer

MARK CRAMMER/INDEPENDENT MAIL Clemson quarterback Cole Stoudt, center, throws a pass during the Tigers’ spring game on April 12.

Looking back, Dabo Swinney says it's a shame that Cole Stoudt's college career couldn't have unfolded a bit differently.

"Unfortunately, when Cole got here, we really didn't have a backup quarterback, so he had to be that guy as a true freshman," said Swinney recently.

Stoudt beat out fellow early-enrolling freshman Tony McNeal for the job, and he was stuck there for three years - working as understudy and backup while Tajh Boyd rewrote Clemson's offensive record books.

It's been a tough role for a player Swinney says has the ability to play in the NFL.

"Cole has prepared, literally, every game for three years to be our starter," Swinney said. "He's been one rolled ankle away from having to perform.

"He's a young man who's been groomed to be a quarterback for life. He's matured greatly, and has been very unselfish. He's been a team guy. He could have been starting at a lot of other places - a lot of other places.

"He's been a great backup to Tajh, he's always been ready when he's been called upon. He has a great understanding of our system."

Now, Stoudt will get his turn, with what Swinney sees as an opportunity to carve out his "next level future."

"His time at Clemson will be over next January, but you only need one great year," Swinney said. "I've said many times that I think Cole is a guy who's capable of playing at the next level.

"He'll have to go out and perform at a high level in order to earn that opportunity."

Follow Kerry Capps on Twitter @oandwkc

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Comments » 2

TigerNE writes:

As long as our O line develops like they should, Stoudt will have a big year.

TigerFan95 writes:

in response to TigerNE:

As long as our O line develops like they should, Stoudt will have a big year.

Agree 100%. With 10 of our O-linemen on our roster Jrs & Srs our O-line should be our most stable group, but right now its our biggest question mark. After four years as O-line coach its time for Robbie Caldwell to prove his worth. If he delivers Cole is going to have a really solid year and we're going to surprise a lot of folks. If he doesnt its going to get ugly really quick.

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