- Tom Luginbill, RecruitingNation
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— John Spivey (@johnswagspivey) September 11, 2013
This is a very difficult question to answer because playing QB as a true freshman requires a lot of factors playing into your favor considering there is such a steep learning curve. There needs to be opportunity, open competition, lack of depth at the position, superior talent over what’s already in the barn and perhaps simply just being in the right place at the right time. At Clemson, I do believe there will be an open competition, but Cole Stoudt and Chad Kelly will have distinct advantages especially if Watson does not enroll early. Age, experience, knowledge of the scheme amongst other factors give Stoudt and Kelly the leg up. Obviously as referenced there is depth currently at QB for Clemson. As far as talent goes, Watson is more physically gifted than Stoudt and likely more so than Kelly, but he and Kelly are very comparable in this area. As a freshman, unless there is such a need to play right away, generally pure talent isn’t enough. How far Watson comes in terms of the knowledge of the game, maturity, competitiveness and mental toughness will dictate whether or not he’s in the mix this time next year. I would venture an educated guess that he will redshirt which would be the absolute best thing for him.
Want to ask ESPN RecruitingNation senior analyst Tom Luginbill a question about your team? Tweet it to @TomLuginbill using the hashtag #AskLoogs. @TomLuginbill does deshaun watson start next year at clemson?