Wednesday Clemson football notebook

Dabo Swinney

CLEMSON - Over the course of the next few months, Dabo Swinney will probably lose a few hours of sleep thinking about who's going to be his next quarterback.

But, once the decision is made, Swinney claims he'll rest just fine.

"If you told me this guy was playing, I'd sleep fine with any of those guys, no problem at all," Swinney said. "I think it's a group that is competing hard. We've put them in a lot of situations. We've put them all with the first group, second group.

"It's a very talented, competitive situation, just like you would see if you saw James Davis, C.J. Spiller and Andre Ellington competing. What would you expect? You'd see great guys competing. You'd see guys out there competing; giving great effort and all of them do great things."

Yep, he went there.

Here's why he said that about his current group of quarterbacks: "They're all different. They're all very, very good players. That's kind of what we've got at that position. It is what it is. We've got a ways to go."

"They're all different. They're all very, very good players. That's kind of what we've got at that position"
On Monday, in the first of three spring stadium scrimmages, Clemson's quarterbacks [Cole Stoudt, Chad Kelly, Deshaun Watson and Nick Schuessler] combined to complete 27-of-48 passes for 379 yards with four touchdowns for an efficiency rating of 150.1.

And, as previously reported, all were subject to tackles by Vic Beasley, Stephone Anthony and the rest of the Tiger defenders.

"It's just one scrimmage. We'll do it again next Monday," Swinney said, referring to the contact with the quarterbacks. "The other positive is they were able to show their strengths, as far as their athleticism, their ability to escape tackles, make plays on the run. In practice, it's hard to get a true evaluation of that, because it's quick whistles, the defense can't hit them."

Rolling right along

No numbers were released on Ammon Lakip's scrimmage performance. But, as Swinney noted during his first spring mention of Lakip, everything continues to go well A.C. [After Catman].

"Just another tremendous day," Swinney said, "[Lakip] has answered every chance so far and that's all you can do. He was outstanding [Monday]."

Speaking of special teams, the kick return game could use a boost in 2014.

"I'm really pleased with T.J. Green at kick return [Monday] and defensively. He showed up," Swinney said.

Green wasn't the only reserve defender mentioned by Swinney.

"B.J. Goodson was a guy that jumped out at me [Monday], really made some big plays," Swinney said.

More good words for the D

The hype machine for Mackensie Alexander continues to churn. Swinney was happy to keep driving that train after Monday's scrimmage.


Jayron Kearse is expected to start at free safety in 2014.
Those thoughts were shared right here.

"Mackensie is separating," Swinney said. "He's what we thought he was: something special."

Alexander isn't the only 2013 signee that Swinney believes will help make the Clemson secondary even better in 2014.

"Guys that played as true freshmen, Jayron [Kearse], Jadar [Jadar], got some experience, they're just different guys, so I think we can be very complete on defense and we've got competition," Swinney said. "Just like quarterback, we've got competition all over that field, defensively. That's making us a better football team."

He added, "This will be the most complete defense that we've had here in a long time…this year I think we can be much more of a complete group. With all those guys, I think we can be much improved on the back end, much improved. More hands, more hands on board, just overall talent and athleticism, guys in the right place, and just experience."

This and that

First scrimmages can be predictable. At times, one side is obviously better than the other.

"It was back and forth [Monday]," Swinney said. "Sometimes, in a first scrimmage, it can be lopsided, one way or the other. But, today, it was very competitive, back and forth. Offensively, they definitely had the better day from a short-yardage standpoint."

Swinney also updated the statuses of Eric MacLain [foot] and Ryan Norton [shoulder].

"He'll be out, at least, until next week. I'm hoping he'll be back next week, but he can hardly walk," Swinney said of MacLain. "He did it in a pass protection drill on Friday and it just blew up on him.

"Norton, I hope we get him back in a couple of days. He's responding well, doing well, doing the things we need to do to get him healthy."

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