Let the battle begin at quarterback

Class is back in session and the midyear enrollees are on campus. Most of the draft-eligible underclassmen have made their decisions.

With a couple of months before the start of spring practice, CUTigers begins its look at the position battles we'll all be monitoring during spring practice.

And there's no better place to start than quarterback.

Tajh Boyd leaves behind an awful big pair of shoes. In his three-year run as the starting quarterback, Boyd led to Clemson to 32 wins, which included an ACC title and an Orange Bowl win. During that time, he was named ACC Player of the Year, MVP of the ACC Championship and All-American.

Boyd rewrote the Clemson record book and is now the ACC's all-time leader in touchdown passes and touchdown responsibility. His career ended with 11,904 yards and 107 touchdown passes and 1,165 yards and 26 rushing touchdowns.

Spring Candidates

Cole Stoudt, Senior
Boyd's understudy for each of the last three seasons, Stoudt is the most experienced of the three candidates. In eight games this season, he completed 47 of 59 passes for 415 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions. He also rushed for 62 yards and two scores.

In his first two seasons, Stoudt connected on 39 of 60 throws for 327 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. He also rushed for 49 yards and three scores.

The son of former NFL quarterback Cliff Stoudt, Cole has surprising athleticism, but is not quite as fast on the edge as Clemson's other two signal callers.

While Stoudt may not exactly fit the mold for the kind of quarterback Morris wants running his offense, he's shown that he is move than capable of keeping the ship pointed in the right direction.

Kelly and Stoudt both flashed on the field in 2013.
Chad Kelly, Redshirt Sophomore
Kelly and Stoudt were in the midst of a serious battle for the No. 2 spot behind Boyd in 2013 until the spring game. That's when Kelly went down with an ACL injury. But that didn't keep Kelly from seeing the field in 2013 as he completed 10 of 17 passes for 58 yards and rushed for 129 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries.

Now healthy and possessing more confidence than any player on Clemson's roster, he's a threat to take over the No. 1 spot by the start of next season.

The first quarterback signed by Chad Morris at Clemson, Kelly provides that dual-threat element that Morris looks for in a quarterback.

Deshaun Watson, Freshman
Watson is expected to be ready for spring practice after suffering an MCL sprain in the final game of his Gainesville High School career. The four-star prospect is ranked by Scout.com as the No. 5 quarterback in the class of 2014.

Watson ended his high school career with 13,077 yards pass with 155 touchdowns and 29 interceptions. He also rushed for 4,057 yards and 59 touchdowns.

A high four-star prospect by Scout.com, Watson smashed numerous Georgia passing records in his high school career. He's also been committed to Clemson for two seasons and ran a similar offense in high school.

Like Kelly, Watson is more in line with the kind of quarterback that Morris wants quarterbacking his offense. He's accurate on the run, athletic out of the pocket and could very well be the future at quarterback.

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