Swinney confident in new starter

CLEMSON - Clemson Coach Dabo Swinney was pretty confident he was ready to name Kyle Parker starting quarterback.

On Sunday night, Swinney made the decision final when he met with Parker, Willy Korn, Tajh Boyd and Michael Wade.

"What a special group of young men we've got," Swinney said, "all of them want to be the guy. Based on where we are right now, there has been some separation between Kyle and Willy. At this point, we felt like it was time for us to really start building that continuity."

Though Parker will get all of the first team repetitions during practice, Korn will have a chance to play in each game this season.

"It's not a situation where Kyle is looking over his shoulder. He's the starter," Swinney said. "It's very clear at this point that he's the starter."

Parker was given the nod because of his arm strength and ability to make the skill players look more explosive. Offensive coordinator Billy Napier liked Parker's the productivity in practice, which also helped give him the lead over Korn.

"He routinely made the easy play. On a pretty consistent basis, he made some really spectacular plays…he really went out and earned his job," Napier said. For now, the competition for the starting position is over, Swinney said. Even with Parker as the starter, the decision is not etched in stone. Both quarterbacks must be productive on game days.

The important thing for the coaches over the next couple of weeks is focusing on who's being coaching as first team quarterback. Napier believes establishing continuity at the position with the line and receivers allows for the offense to become more polished.

To be that guy, Parker said, is just "one step."

"It all goes to us winning games. We still have a lot of work to do. A lot of things need to be done before the season starts," he said.

Instead of having to worry about how he compares against his teammates, Parker said he can now go to meetings and practice ready to prepare for Middle Tennessee as the starter.

"I don't have to worry about winning in practice everyday. I can go out and get ready for my opponent," he said.

Compared as very similar kinds of quarterbacks, Napier has been impressed with both on the field and in the meeting room.

"Both are above average athletically as runners," he said. "Both are extremely sharp in the meeting room. Both are really teachable. They take from the meeting room to the field easily.

"I've seen that even more with Kyle now that he's been with us day in and day out, unlike the spring where he's with baseball."

CUTigers.com Top Stories