Far from over

CLEMSON - After four days, the QB battle is far from over. In other news: dogs and cats remain at odds, the sky is still blue and taxes are due next month.

And Dabo Swinney is more than happy to have Cole Stoudt, Chad Kelly and Deshaun Watson still battling to replace Tajh Boyd.

"It's wide-open. It's legitimately a competition," Swinney said, after Monday's practice. "I'd save all the drama if I had all of that penciled in already. As I've said many times, I think we are blessed. We've got elite talent at that position, so you've got to let guys go compete. You've got to go through the process. It's just that simple."

"You've got to put them in all kind of situations and then you grade everything. At some point, you make a decision. When that is: middle of spring, after spring, fall camp, third game, I don't know. You know when you know. We're in a very good situation. I love how they're competing."

As Swinney and offensive coordinator Chad Morris have both said in the past, everything counts.

"We're keeping a snap count and kind of a mental log of everything and a physical log of everything," Swinney said. "Right now, it's just about challenging them and seeing how they respond.

"We're doing a good job of mixing it up, as far as who's getting reps with the [first-team], who's getting reps with the [second-team], just changing the dynamics on all of these guys and watching them operate. Not disappointed with anybody right now, pleased with everybody. But, again, it's just day four."

Eleven practices are left in the spring, including a situational scrimmage on Wednesday.

"If I said, ‘Hey, this guy right now,' if I said he's the guy, then he might come out here and stink it up tomorrow," Swinney said. "The consistency in performance at that position, obviously, is critical. They're battling hard. It's fun to come to work every day."

While none of the three have displayed all of the leadership traits that helped make Boyd so good, Swinney does think they're all capable of reaching that level. Much of that progression will come with time and success on the field during the fall.

"Cole Stoudt is a very well-respected leader amongst his peers, same thing with Chad. Chad is one of those guys, he's going to be out front, do everything to the Nth Degree. That's who he is. That's in his DNA. That's how he came back from his injury last year," Swinney said. "Deshaun has been a leader his whole life. Now, he's walking into a situation where not many people know a whole lot about him, so he has to start over, and it's interesting to watch a young guy like that jump into the mix with some grown men and guys that have been around here a long time. He's gotten better every day."

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