Kelly preparing for a battle royale

CLEMSON - Chad Kelly's run as the new guy on the block is about to run out. In less than a month, that title will be handed over to Deshaun Watson.

In the day and age when the newest and shiniest additions to a college football team tend to be the fan favorite, Kelly knows just how excited everyone is about Watson.

"To come in here as a freshman, I have been told the exact same stuff since I was recruited, my 11th grade year. Same stuff [Chad Morris] is telling Deshaun, he told me…people try to get you to come to their school," Kelly said. "What you want to hear is what you like to hear. You're going to come to a school where you really like what they're saying."

Kelly and Watson both liked what Morris and Dabo Swinney were telling them. Cole Stoudt bought into the word from Swinney and Morris' predecessor, Billy Napier.

In January, the trio of quarterbacks will begin their competition for the right to be Tajh Boyd's successor.

"Everybody is going to come out here and do their best, do the best that they can," Kelly said. "It's just the amount of time you put in on the field and off the field."

Not to suggest the other two don't, but Kelly certainly has put his time in so far. He wants the starting job. That's why he signed with Clemson in 2012.

It hasn't exactly been a happy, feel good couple of years for Kelly. There's one big reason why. He hasn't played much.

After taking a redshirt last year, Kelly has played in just five games this season, completing 10 of 17 passes for 58 yards, and rushing for 117 yards and a score on 16 carries.

"The hardest part, definitely, is sitting behind someone who is playing and you're sitting there watching," Kelly said. "Not taking anything away from Tajh and Cole, but I just love playing. They all do. They all want to be out their playing.

"That's really the hardest part of being here, just sitting behind someone and waiting until your turn is called."

Kelly wants to have the first spot in line when Clemson opens at Georgia in 2014. But that's about nine months away.

First things first: the battle.

"It will be a fun competition," Kelly said. "That's for sure."

Will it be fierce? You bet.

Could things get a little tense between the senior, redshirt sophomore and true freshman? Yep, probably so.

"On the fields, it's definitely a little tension, because you're trying to compete and everything. But, off the field, we're still friends. Everybody likes each other," Kelly said. "It could get a little awkward sometimes if someone doesn't do good and then the next person does real good. You can kind of feel the tension a little bit. Other than that, everybody gets along."

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