Stoudt not afraid of competition

Last Friday, Clemson picked up a verbal commitment from Scout.com's No. 27 quarterback in the nation, Cole Stoudt. Recently, CUTigers talked with Stoudt about his senior year and his strengths and weaknesses as a quarterback.

QB Cole Stoudt Profile

Stoudt, a three-star signal caller from the Dublin, Ohio (Coffman HS) area, is the son of former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Cliff Stoudt.

He's also Clemson's second verbal commitment at the quarterback position in the 2011 class, pledging his commitment to the staff last week after visiting Clemson officially for the Maryland game last month.

"Everything about it just felt right," he told CUTigers.com. "It's a great school with a great football history, and tradition. My visit was fantastic in every way. I like Coach Swinney and Napier very much. It just seemed so easy and natural with everyone on the staff that I met... I felt comfortable with everyone."

Stoudt is a native of the Greenville, S.C.-area and he said that also played a role in his decision.

"Being born in Greenville and that fact that I have friends and family nearby, makes it seem not so far away. Everything that happened along the way happened to bring Clemson and me together. Now it's done."

And as far as his visit to Tigertown, well he loved every minute of it, and that helped seal the deal with a verbal commitment.

"It's a great school with a great football history, and tradition. My visit was fantastic in every way. I like Coach Swinney and Napier very much. It just seemed so easy and natural with everyone on the staff that I met... I felt comfortable with everyone."

"The pre-game, the fans, the atmosphere, the facilities, and being from Ohio, the 80 degree October weather was pretty sweet," he said. " If one thing stood out it would be going in the locker room Sunday morning and seeing my uniforms and helmet hanging in a locker that was set up to look like it was mine.

"Also we ran into a few people that we knew and our next door neighbors from Greenville. It just all felt so right.

Standing it at 6-4, 190 pounds, Stoudt will enroll at Clemson in January in hopes of making the adjustment to college life a little faster.

But he has a little bit of unfinished business on the gridiron prior.

After an 8-2 regular season, Stoudt is beginning a playoff run in Ohio- one he hopes ends with a state championship.

"We lost one early in the season, but have really come together to have a very good season," he said. "At times it's been hard to keep my mind on this week's game with the whole recruiting circus going on but I'm glad to have that behind me.

"We have a tough road in the playoffs. After winning Saturday, the next two weeks will put us up against two of the top four teams in the state. I'm looking forward to the playoff challenge. I will enjoy every second of my last days with Coach Crabtree my Coffman teammates. It's been incredible."

Stoudt says he's been in regular touch with Billy Napier and fully understands the competition that lies in front of him - starting next spring.

It will be him and fellow freshman Tony McNeal (Chester, S.C.), battling Tajh Boyd for playing time.

"We seem to get along great," he said of his future quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator. "I feel very l comfortable around him. He says the opportunity is what I make of it. I realize they are very high on Tajh Boyd and he is the guy as of now. We also have Tony McNeal coming in when I do. It will create a lot of competition, which makes everyone better.

"Coach Napier explained his style and philosophy to me. I think we will be able to talk and work well together, provided I come to play every day. He will push me, and I wouldn't want it any other way."

And as far as Stoudt's abilities go- he obviously has a big arm.

In fact, he listed that No. 1 on his list when asked about his strengths and weaknesses as a quarterback.

"I have a strong arm and I have always been very accurate," he notes. "Our offense requires a lot of the quarterback. We are 4 and 5 wide all the time so the quarterback must make good decisions for the offense to click.

"I wouldn't consider it a weakness but like all young QBs, I will have to get used to the speed of the college game, and the variety of defenses. My high school does about all you can do offensively, but we don't see defenses like they run in college. That is a challenge I'm looking forward to.

"But more than anything else, I'm very competitive. I'm not afraid of competition."

That competition, of course, begins next March.

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