Clemson freshman quarterback Chad Kelly in mix for the backup quarterback role
CLEMSON – Chad Morris said there is great competition for the team’s backup quarterback role and the Clemson offensive coordinator said don’t rule out true freshman Chad Kelly, who had his best practice on the seventh day of Clemson’s training camp Friday.
Kelly, a dual-threat quarterback with NFL Hall of Fame bloodlines – his uncle is Jim Kelly – has been making up for his lack of knowledge of the offense with impressive physical tools.
Morris said Kelly could “absolutely” be the team’s No. 2 quarterback. He’s competing with Cole Stoudt and Morgan Roberts for the job.
“He’s overloaded with knowledge but making some plays,” Morris said. “He has an unrelenting drive and desire to be the best. He’s making that whole quarterback room better because of his work ethic and drive.”
Morris said the plan is to redshirt Kelly but he did not rule out using the Buffalo, N.Y. product in special packages this fall to take advantage of his athletic gifts.
“He’s got great football (skills), great speed,” Morris said.
Norton pushing to start
Morris said center/guard Ryan Norton (6-3, 265) has been working some as the first-team center, shifting starting center Dalton Freeman to right tackle as the team explores the best combination of players for its offensive line, and creative options for the opener against Auburn if projected right tackle Gifford Timothy is unable to play following his arthroscopic knee surgery Friday.
“I feel right now that Norton is in the mix as one of our top five linemen,” Morris said. “He’s grabbing a lot of people’s attention right now. ... He’s one of those surprises we have to have.”
Morris feels Freeman could perform adequately at right guard.
“Dalton is an athlete,” Morris said. “Whatever makes this football team better. ”
Morris said he considers Kalon Davis the team’s sixth best lineman.