Round one began over a year ago with a spat that played out over Twitter.
It wasn't until August when round two took to the field. And it was Stoudt who took that one. He was named the No. 2 heading into the 2012 season and Kelly was given a redshirt.
Round three picks up on Wednesday when spring practice opens.
"Cole, right now, is clearly our number two guy," Swinney said. "I think it's going to be an interesting battle."
In two seasons at Clemson, Stoudt has completed 39 of 60 passes for 327 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. He's also rushed 15 times for 49 yards.
"Cole Stoudt is a heck of a player and has performed well for us, has helped us win games. He's the only other guy with any experience," Swinney said. "He's a quiet guy, really doesn't get the credit he deserves. He has really been a critical part of our success in the last couple of years."
Kelly, a former three-star recruit out of Buffalo, passed for 3,050 yards and 27 touchdowns while rushing for 991 yards and 14 touchdowns as a senior in high school.
"Chad Kelly, coming off a redshirt year, a guy that turned some heads in fall camp," Swinney said.
The battle would have been a four-way match had Morgan Roberts not opted to transfer to Yale and Tony McNeal decided to stop playing football.
"I don't think there's any question that's going to be a fun competition," Swinney said. "That's the way it should be. When you recruit well, recruit at a high level, you want to have some good players at every position."
Swinney isn't so sure that a clear-cut No. 2 will be identified by April.
"As far as somebody separating this spring, I don't know that will happen," he said. "I'm sure, by the time we get ready to crank it up and play the Bulldogs, we'll know who's going in as the number two guy and who's number three."
The battle for No. 2
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