Athens - Clemson will start Cole Stoudt at quarterback against Georgia on Saturday. But the Bulldogs expect to get a good dose Deshaun Watson as well, a freshman from Gainesville with whom they are very familiar.
Watson was an early commitment for the Tigers, but Georgia pursued him doggedly during recruiting. A four-year starter at Gainesville High School, the 6-foot-2, 205-pounder set Georgia high school career records for total offense yards (17,134) and total touchdowns (218).
“We all know him here,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said. “He’s a very talented guy who can run and pass. Just a dynamic player. I think they’ve already mentioned that he’ll get in the game, so we’ve got to have a plan for him.”
How much Watson actually plays may depend on how well Stoudt is doing. the 6-4, 225-pound senior has served the last three years as the backup quarterback behind Tajh Boyd. He is 86-of 119 passing (72.3 percent) for 742 yards and eight touchdowns against one interception in 287 snaps over 22 games in his career. Stoudt is the son of Cliff Stoudt, who for three NFL teams from 1977-89 and started for the Steelers in 1983.
“Very similar to Hutson (Mason) in that he’s been around the program a long time and has taken a lot of practice reps, but he was able to get a lot of game reps, too,” Richt said. “They put people away early a lot of times last year and they were able to get their second- and third-team quarterbacks in. Stoudt is a very, tall accurate passer, who’s very efficient at what he does. I don’t know that he’s a big QB-run guy but he makes good decisions and is very accurate.”