Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney hosted his annual golf outing with the media today. Just a little while ago, offensive coordinator Chad Morris dropped the biggest bombshell of the day. Not only will Deshaun Watson not redshirt this season, he will play in Clemson’s opener against the Georgia Bulldogs.
Manie Robinson of The Greenville News tweeted this quote from Morris:
#Clemson OC Chad Morris said Deshaun Watson would not have redshirted, even if Chad Kelly had not left. “…He’s going to play at Georgia”
— Manie Robinson (@maniebeingmanie) July 15, 2014
However, this doesn’t mean that Cole Stoudt isn’t firmly entrenched as the starter. The job seems to be Stoudt’s to lose, he may just split time with Watson, to some degree. Morris apparently did not go into specifics about how Watson would be used, but he did elaborate on Stoudt’s hold on the starting job.
Morris: “Everything we have asked of Cole since he’s been here, he’s done. Execute our plan, and the wins take care of themselves.”
— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) July 15, 2014
This comes as quite a surprise to me. I fully expected Watson to redshirt this season, to preserve his eligibility while Stoudt took the reigns this season. Obviously the coaches know best where their players stand right now but I am a little surprised that they would opt to burn his redshirt if he is only going to get spot duty. Hopefully this just means that Watson is too good to keep off the field and it doesn’t imply anything about the staff’s confidence in Stoudt.