Cole Stoudt may be the QB, but he's no different than any other starter

Dabo Swinney: 'It's not that there's a leash or anything like that. But a guy has to go out and perform, whatever his position'

MARK CRAMMER/INDEPENDENT MAIL
Clemson quarterback Cole Stoudt prepares to put his helmet on after stretching before the Tigers’ spring game on April 12.

Photo by Mark Crammer

MARK CRAMMER/INDEPENDENT MAIL Clemson quarterback Cole Stoudt prepares to put his helmet on after stretching before the Tigers’ spring game on April 12.

Cole Stoudt is the Tigers' starting quarterback

Just like Stephone Anthony is the starting middle linebacker.

And just like Vic Beasley and Grady Jarrett are starting defensive linemen, and Isaiah Battle will get first-call at left tackle.

All are expected to perform at a high level. And if they don't, there's someone waiting in the wings to grab their opportunity.

That's the way coach Dabo Swinney sees Clemson's depth chart as the Tigers move from spring practice into voluntary summer workouts, and then to preseason camp.

"Cole's the starting quarterback, just the way we have a starting corner or a starting linebacker," Swinney said. "But there are no lifetime contracts here. You have to perform every day.

"So he's got to come into camp and perform. He's the starter going unto summer, and it's his job to lose, or however you want to look at it. But the competition doesn't end. He has to come out and perform every single day like a starter. You have to warrant being that guy in practice and in games."

From that standpoint, Swinney said quarterback "is no different than any other position."

"Stephone Anthony is the our starting linebacker, but if he goes out and practices like a dog, then he's not going to be the starter," Swinney said. "Grady Jarrett is our starting nose, but he goes out and earns it every day. He fights to stay the starter.

"It's not that there's a leash or anything like that. But a guy has to go out and perform, whatever his position."

As for the current non-starter at quarterback - first semester freshman Deshaun Watson - his job is take dead-aim on Stoudt.

"The job is his to go try to win," Swinney said. "Deshaun's not just going to take a back seat. He's going to go out and try to win the job. And we'll just see how it continues to go."

Follow Kerry Capps on Twitter @oandwkc

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Comments » 4

TigerNE writes:

I hear what Swinney is saying, but there were quite a few times last season where it looked like Boyd was losing his starting privilege, and the coaches did little about it. Maybe he looks at it over multiple games for some positions and not just one game.

lhaselden writes:

In Boyd's case he had taken ownership of the team, he was not just the QB, it was his team, he led the team. Stoudt is not at that point... A few years ago Gilchrist was the leader of the D, he was constantly making sure our young LBs were in the correct postion.... Gilchrist led the D in snaps that year, he played nickel, safety and corner....

brookesdad729 writes:

The guy on the bench is always better! LOL!

YabbaDaboDooDoo writes:

in response to lhaselden:

In Boyd's case he had taken ownership of the team, he was not just the QB, it was his team, he led the team. Stoudt is not at that point... A few years ago Gilchrist was the leader of the D, he was constantly making sure our young LBs were in the correct postion.... Gilchrist led the D in snaps that year, he played nickel, safety and corner....

Stoudt is a senior. If he's "not at that point" then when will he be? He's been in the program for 3 years. He's had 3 years in this offense and 3 years to prove himself to his teammates that he's ready to take over. Watson is a true freshman who has been on campus for all of 5 minutes. If Stoudt has any QB ability whatsoever then it should be his job. And if he did NOT have the ability to play QB at Clemson then Dabo should have told him long ago that it was in his best interest to transfer.

Swinney is a windbag who loves talking to hear himself talk. Stoudt is the QB... period. Stoudt will start the season as the starter and if Watson becomes the starter at any point then your season has gone horribly wrong. Swinney knows that if he were to take someone who seems to be a high-character guy, tell him to sit for 3 years in order to get 1 season as a senior and then pull the rug out from under him....... that he would never be able to recruit another QB ever.

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