CLEMSON — Chad Morris said he does not plan to add a new element to his offense as significant as the pistol formation that was added last season for Clemson. But the Clemson offensive coordinator said his scheme will have new elements when it takes the field this fall.
“There will be some (elements) that people hadn’t seen and won’t see until it’s time,” Morris said. “But they will not be as significant as the (pistol addition).”
After visiting Nevada to learn the pistol last spring, Morris took the Clemson offensive staff to visit Arizona State earlier this offseason. Arizona State’s 31-year-old offensive coordinator Mike Norvell was an assistant under Morris at Tulsa when Morris was the offensive coordinator there in 2010.
Why visit Arizona State?
“It was good this year to go visit someone with the same language as you and share some ideas,” Morris said. “You kind of refresh yourself on some thoughts that they got and that we have.”
Morris said it was Ohio State that reached out to Clemson to visit earlier this offseason. Morris is also hoping to arrange a visit with Texas A&M this offseason.
“You have to grow professionally,” Morris said. “They are trying to grab one or two things that they are going to take back and make their programs a little better. Same thing with us. We are trying to grab one or two different things that keeps us ahead of the curve (because) people are trying to catch us and study us, so we have to stay ahead of the game and that’s something I’ve always taken a lot of pride in.”
Who’s No. 2?
Morris characterized the battle between Cole Stoudt and Chad Kelly for the backup quarterback position as “great” following practice on Tuesday. Morris put no timetable on naming a backup and believes the competition will play out into fall camp.
“I think Cole is having a really good spring,” Morris said. “I think Chad is having a good spring … They are pushing each other left and right.”
Kelly is a former four-star recruit with NFL bloodlines (he’s the nephew of Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly), and was recruited by Morris. But Stoudt has one advantage: he has experience as he’s in his third year in Morris’ system.
“I think they each have their own unique qualities that sets each one apart,” Morris said. “Chad’s a little faster, where Cole is a little more confident in what he’s doing. You are really seeing his veteranism pay off. There are a lot more impulse decisions Chad is making right now, because he’s still kind of a rookie.”
Stoudt struggled last spring but said he’s more confident this March after working with his father, Cliff, a former NFL quarterback, on relaxing his throwing motion this offseason.
“I have the confidence I had back in high school. This is my third year in the system. I’ve got it down, and I’m learning more… The completion between me and Chad is good, it’s actually really good. It’s making us work hard and it’s pushing Tajh (Boyd).”
Morris said wide receiver Martavis Bryant is having an excellent spring and is more focused ... Morris said Brandon Thomas remains as the starting left tackle over Isaiah Battle, though Morris wants Battle to claim the position ... Morris has been encouraged by running back Zac Brooks’ ability to catch passes out of the backfield.