Clemson football is always about what’s next.
That is what Dabo Swinney and his program at Clemson has done as well as anyone in the last seven years. The Tigers quickly turn the page and get on to the next season.
With classes starting today the Clemson program will do just that. What’s next for the Tigers? Mat drills of course in the next few weeks, which will unofficially begin the start of the 2018 season. Following that will be spring practice, which is slated to begin sometime near the first of March.
This should be one of the more interesting springs Clemson will have in a long time, especially when it comes to the quarterback position. As you know, five-star quarterback Trevor Lawrence has made his way to campus and will begin classes today. He will be, as of right now, one of six scholarship quarterbacks on the roster competing for practice time and reps during spring practice.
Prior to the Sugar Bowl, Clemson quarterbacks coach Brandon Streeter said the spring will be about getting Lawrence and redshirt freshman Chase Brice up to speed considering Kelly Bryant, Zerrick Cooper and Hunter Johnson got all the reps during the regular season. Also, let’s not forget Tucker Israel is on the roster and will need some reps as well.
So how will Streeter spread out reps between six quarterbacks, assuming every quarterback will be available when spring practice starts? It will be an interesting dynamic for sure. Streeter obviously has the hardest job of any position coach in the country right now.
Remember in 2014 after Chad Kelly was kicked off the team following the spring game? Fans wondered how Clemson would handle the situation if something happened to Deshaun Watson or Cole Stoudt. They were the only two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster at the time.
Well, as we all know, something did happen. Watson tore his ACL and also broke his finger, causing him to miss a good part of the season. Stoudt was banged up, too, playing through a nagging shoulder injury for much of the year. The other two quarterbacks on the roster, Nick Schuessler and David Olson, were both former walk-ons. It made for some nervous times for the Clemson coaches and Tiger fans alike.
At the end of the season, Swinney vowed to never have his team in that situation again. He said he will make sure he always has at least four scholarship quarterbacks on his roster.
This spring, Swinney has a different problem. He might have too many and not enough reps in spring practice to spread it around evenly so all his quarterbacks can develop.
I’m sure Swinney and his staff will put their heads together and figure something out because they always seem to do so. However, you have to admit. It’s not going to be easy.