So far, so good for Watson

CLEMSON - Barely halfway through his first spring practice, Dabo Swinney is pleased with what he's seen from freshman quarterback Deshaun Watson.

The former four-star recruit "just keeps getting better" with every practice this spring.

"He is, boy, after six practices, to know that he's a true freshman, he's going to be special," Swinney said. "No doubt about it, clearly, he's got all the qualities you could ever want in a young quarterback in particular."

Part of that credit, the head coach added, goes to the folks back at Gainesville High School.

"He's had great training in high school, has a really good foundation for the little things at the position, like ball handling," Swinney said. "He is a smooth operator. It's natural for him. He's been doing it a long time.

"Very impressed with him, but he's got a long way to go, but he has improved every single day. You can just see his command, he studies. I mean, he is a bookworm when it comes to studying his responsibility in this offense."

Watson has received a few first-team reps this spring, but most of his work is with the second-team. A majority of the first-team reps are split between Cole Stoudt and Chad Kelly.

"We've done a little bit of everything, but they've all responded well. They're all competing," Swinney said. "It's a fun -- I got their grade report today -- I look at their grade report and guess what?

"It's amazing what competition will do. They're competing academically too, and that's what you love about it."

Out for the spring

Germone Hopper will not be practicing for the rest of the spring. He's healthy, still on the team and not suspended, per se.

"It's more focus for G-Hop…he's a good young man, talented, but not very focused or committed to doing what he needs to do academically, so I'm just kind of giving him some time to go focus at Vickery Hall," Swinney said. "That's what he's going to be working on the next few weeks."

It's a similar situation what Garry Peters was faced with last spring.

"We'll title it the Garry Peters Get With The Program message," Swinney said. "That's really, basically, what it is. He's got to grow up a little bit. Sometimes, these guys need a little help in getting focused, and that's what this is all about. Hopefully, if he does what we ask him to do he'll come back with a little better appreciation for his opportunity and a different attitude."

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