CUTigers Spring Blitz: QBs

With Clemson spring practice set to begin on March 7, we begin our look at the individual position battles and how each quarterback could do this spring.

1-Tajh Boyd - RS Junior
2-Cole Stoudt - Sophomore
3-Tony McNeal - RS Freshman
4-Donny McElveen - RS Junior
5-Morgan Roberts - RS Freshman

2011 Stats (Returning)
Boyd - 298 of 499 for 3,828 yards with 33 TDs; 218 yards rushing with 5 TDs
Stoudt - 12 of 21 for 115 yards

Unit Ranking: B+

Boyd had a break-out first season as the starting quarterback at Clemson. He was named first-team All-ACC quarterback, the first Clemson sophomore to be named to do so since 1957. Among all ACC quarterbacks, Boyd had the most total offense and passing yardage. He was also named MVP of the ACC Championship.

Stoudt, who won the backup job over McNeal last spring, was the only other Clemson quarterback to attempt a pass last season.

McElveen played in garbage time against Presbyterian in 2010, but did not receive a snap in 2011. He'll compete for the third-team job with McNeal and Roberts, both of whom took redshirts last season.

Taking the next step

Tajh Boyd has to get better running the ball in Chad Morris' offense in 2012. (Roy Philpott)
At the end of last year's spring practice, first-year offensive coordinator Chad Morris challenged Boyd to take the next step, to go the extra-mile and work as hard as humanly possible over the summer. And Boyd did just that. It's probably safe to assume that Morris has come up with a new set of challenges for his All-ACC quarterback.

He has to get better in his reads while also becoming a better runner in Chad Morris' offense. While quarterbacks are untouched for the majority of spring practice, Boyd has to improve as a ball carrier and in his decision making.

Head-start on the second-team battle

Stoudt took a firm hold of the second-team quarterback spot last spring, beating out fellow 2011 signee Tony McNeal. There's little reason to believe Stoudt won't keep a firm grip on his second-team job through this spring. He'll have a head-start on Chad Kelly, who's set to arrive to campus later this summer.

The rest

We loved McNeal when he was coming out of Chester High School. The three-star prospect played through some pretty serious injuries, put up good looking numbers and won a bunch of games. The problem now is that he doesn't exactly fit the system Morris uses. McNeal is a traditional pocket passer, not a dual-threat guy. He may be better suited in a more traditional passing system at another school.

Because Roberts is more of a dual-threat than McNeal, there's a chance he could actually find himself higher on the depth chart.

Spring Predictions

- Stoudt keeps the second-team job
- Roberts challenges McNeal for third-team reps Top Stories