Close to the vest

CLEMSON - Dabo Swinney doesn't want you or anyone else on the outside of the program to start jumping to conclusions until the Orange and White spring game.

That's the first time stats will be released after a Clemson spring scrimmage.

So, following Monday's stadium scrimmage, reporters weren't privy to the number of yards Cole Stoudt threw for, how many touchdowns Chad Kelly had or what exactly Deshaun Watson did during his first work on the field in Memorial Stadium.

With five months before the season opener at Georgia, who could blame Swinney for wanting to keep things close to the vest?

And he's not necessarily in a hurry to show ‘em.

"There's five months of good decision making ahead of us," Swinney said, after the first of two close stadium scrimmages.

"Leadership, all kinds of stuff, there's a lot of things that still have to be done. As we told them, everything counts if you're going to be the quarterback at Clemson University. You're going to be the face of this program, everything matters.

"There's a long time between now and August, and it's not like we've just got one guy that's way out in front of everybody. Some days it's this, some days it's that. We've got a lot of competition."

Kelly, who got the first snaps of the day, hopes a decision is made sooner than later.

"I'm trying to play right away," he said. "I know the other guys are."

Regardless of when the decision is made, Kelly understands that it's up to Swinney and Chad Morris to make that call. Kelly knows this much: Monday was a productive one for everyone who's counted in the three-way race.

"We did fairly well out here, everybody," Kelly said. "So, I think, it was overall a good day. Everybody did really well."

The competition, according to Kelly, Stoudt and Morris, is a healthy one.

"Now, it's just trying to make each other better and make the whole team better," Stoudt said. "We all want to play, but we also want to improve each other. If one guy is singling out like he's not trying to help -- he sees somebody and doesn't tell them, it's not good, because if we're not all on the same page and we're not all trying to help each other…that flows into the rest of the rooms.

"All of the other players look how we interact and we help motivate each other and the team."

Morris wishes that he could get more competition like that elsewhere.

"Each moved the football, each scored touchdowns and they all battled extremely hard," he said, referring to Monday's scrimmage. "It's as healthy a competitive battle -- I wish we had that at every position. They're working hard and they're responding. The players are responding to them." Top Stories