Clemson QB Signees: An Overview from c/o 2006 to Present

CHARLOTTE NC - DECEMBER 31: Tajh Boyd #10 of the Clemson Tigers drops back to pass against the USF Bulls during their game at Bank of America Stadium on December 31 2010 in Charlotte North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

We have the standard recruiting articles forthcoming for the quarterback position.  Those articles deal solely with numerical analysis by design.  Because the quarterback position is a lightning rod for criticism, I wanted to chat about the position ahead of the recruiting articles because those articles are intended to be a measuring stick against our foes based solely on raw recruiting data.  The table below shows Clemson's quarterback signees since the '06 class.  Brief analysis follows, thanks to www.rivals.com and www.scout.com for the core information.

Player

Class

Scout

Rivals

High School

Hometown

HT/WT/40

College

Position

Michael Wade

2006

3

3

Riverside HS

Greer, SC

6-2/185/4.70

Clemson

QB

Willy Korn

2007

4

4

James F Byrnes HS

Duncan, SC

6-2/200/4.62

Clemson

QB

Kyle Parker

2008

4

4

Bartram Trail HS

Jacksonville, FL

6-1/180/4.65

Clemson

QB

Jon Richt

2008

2

3

Prince Ave Christian School

Athens, GA

6-2/190/4.97

Clemson

QB

Tajh Boyd

2009

5

4

Phoebus HS

Hampton, VA

6-1/210/4.60

Clemson

QB

Tony McNeal

2011

3

3

Chester Senior HS

Chester, SC

6-1/170

Clemson

QB

Morgan Roberts

2011

2

3

Charlotte Country Day School

Charlotte, NC

6-2.5/201

Clemson

QB

Cole Stoudt

2011

3

3

Dublin Coffman HS

Dublin, OH

6-4/190

Clemson

QB

Michael Wade:  Wade was a big time contributor to the Clemson football team over the course of his career.  Many will have an issue with him in the QB recruiting analysis because Wade played very little at QB and instead shined as a special teams superstar and can-do-anything player.  Wade did, however, serve as the third team quarterback over the course of his career and did provide the Tigers with some depth here in addition to his other team roles.  Wade did everything asked of him and more and sacrificed for the good of the team.  Clemson was fortunate to have him on our squad.

Will Korn:  Korn came to Clemson as the all-everything QB from Byrnes High.  The Clemson Nation was ready to anoint him as the program-saver but his promise never panned out.  Willy had an injury in both '07 and '08, and I believe that these injuries and their after-effects (not raw talent coming into school) were the cause of Korn's inefficiency and eventual transfer following the '09 season.  Good use of a scholarship...things just did not work out.  The Korn situation combined with the Ricky Sapp/Da'Quan Bowers/J.K Jay injuries spark questions about Clemson's injury rehabilitation strategy as well as S&C philosophy.

Kyle Parker:  Kyle was the two-sport star who showed major-league talent on the baseball diamond and a had knack for making things happen on the football field.  Following a successful freshman campaign, Parker had a less than impressive second season before leaving Clemson to pursue his pro baseball career.  Baseball definitely slowed down Parker's football development.  You cannot blame Kyle for pursuing baseball (and the financial stability that it brings).  From a recruiting standpoint, Clemson got two years' worth of starts from this young man AND he left school for non-football related reasons.  This was a good use of a scholarship by the Tigers' staff.

Jon Richt:  Jon, son of Georgia head football coach Mark, was at Clemson for a season before announcing his intentions to transfer during Spring '09.  It is widely known that the Richts are family friends of the Bowdens, so it is probably no coincidence that Richt left soon after Tom got jacked.  We were not particularly pleased with this use of a scholarship, and I'll leave it at that.  We will not (and do not want to) criticize Jon and think that his transfer decision was in the best interest of all parties involved.

Tajh Boyd:  Boyd came in with a splash, a big time recruit and jewel of the '09 recruiting class.  Getting his signature was widely considered a coup for the young Swinney-led staff.  Tajh was red-shirted in '09 and backed up Kyle Parker in '10.  Tajh has the physical skills it takes to be really good but has some work to do as the starter.  We are looking to get three more years from Tajh and he was an excellent pickup by Swinney and crew.

Tony McNeal, Cole Stoudt, Morgan Roberts:  These guys have yet to suit up for a college football game, so the crystal ball is much more cloudy than the other guys in this article.  It appears at this point as though McNeal will redshirt in '11 and Stoudt will backup Tajh Boyd.  Morgan Roberts has agreed to a greyshirt offer in mid-January.  At this point, we like having both Stoudt and McNeal, especially since both were able to enroll in January and one will be the backup this fall (again, probably Cole).  We question the greyshirt offer and really thought that we should have picked up a quarterback in the '10 class.

Clemson's overall recruiting haul at quarterback since '06 has been relatively good.  Before the '10 class, CU really only had one "non-synergistic" scholarship allotment, which ended with a transfer.  Despite Korn's lack of success, anytime you pull in a top-5 quarterback you have to be happy...things just didn't work out.  We really wanted Clemson to pick up a QB in the 2010 class but that was not to be.  As stated earlier, we are critical of the Roberts deal, so two out of the eight don't pass the STS test.

So why have we not gotten better production from the QB position?  I'll give you a hint; it is neither the talent (there are quite a few 4's and 5's in the table above) nor recruiting strategy.  Korn's injury and mishandling of his return probably ruined his career.  Kyle Parker, while effective at times, did not improve fundamentally over his two years of play.  Tajh Boyd showed some issues with footwork and throwing motion that I would not expect out of a redshirt FR, but when you compare this to his predecessor you realize it's not the player.

What does this tell me?  The technical coaching over the past two seasons lacked.  We have seen Tajh's attitude over the course of this offseason and he appears to be willing to do whatever it takes.  I see no reason that a young man like this would not be extremely coachable.  I realize that KP split time with baseball, but there is no excuse for the coaches not getting him better, particularly looking at arm position and weight distribution throughout his throwing motion.  The item that really irks me is our inability to stop the repetitive throws across his body.  Further, you can sense the frustration in Coach Morris' tone when he talks about fundamentals.  I believe he is a stickler for the basics and am optimistic we will see more positive results because of this in '11.  If you are familiar with STS, you know we are sticklers for the fundamentals and are encouraged when we see improvement.

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