Clemson's Stoudt is one of the unheralded ACC QBs trying to break out
GREENSBORO, N.C. — Clemson quarterback Cole Stoudt was 8 years old the first time he saw his father cry. He wanted to know why.
“They destroyed Three Rivers Stadium,” Cliff Stoudt told him.
The elder Stoudt is the former Steelers quarterback who played behind Terry Bradshaw in the late 1970s and early '80s. Three Rivers fans hurled boos and snowballs at Stoudt, the latter when he joined the USFL and returned to play for the Birmingham Stallions against the Pittsburgh Maulers in 1984. But when the stadium was imploded to make room for Heinz Field, he cried in front of his youngest son.
“It really hit him,” Cole Stoudt said. “That's where he was first drafted, that's where his home was and that's where his heart was for the NFL.
“I know what he was feeling because I would probably feel the same way if they destroyed (Clemson Memorial Stadium).”
Instead, Stoudt, whose older brother Zach committed to Pitt in 2007 before signing with Louisville, hopes to build a reputation of his own when he steps under center as the starter. Stoudt spent the past three seasons as — what else? — a backup for former Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd.
Stoudt and his inexperience have plenty of company in the ACC, which concluded its media days Monday. The conference is bereft of seasoned quarterbacks, with only five returning starters, including Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston of Florida State. The others are Syracuse's Terrel Hunt, Duke's Anthony Boone and North Carolina's Marquise Williams, all of whom shared the position with others last season, and Virginia's David Watford, who lost his job in the spring to redshirt sophomore Greyson Lambert, who already has been voted captain by his teammates.
Of the 52 ACC players on award watch lists, only three — Winston, Boone and North Carolina State's Jacoby Brissett — play quarterback.
At Pitt, redshirt sophomore Chad Voytik arrives with only two quarters of experience, but a strong hold on the starting job. He replaced an injured Tom Savage in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl and ran for a touchdown and threw for 108 yards while rallying Pitt to a victory.
“He is growing,” coach Paul Chryst said. “He has a lot of work still ahead, which is all right. That's where he should be.”
Gone to the NFL are Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater, Pitt's Savage, Boston College's Chase Rettig, Virginia Tech's Logan Thomas, Miami's Stephen Morris, North Carolina's Bryn Renner and Boyd. Duke's Brandon Connette, who threw for 323 yards against Pitt last season, Vad Lee of Georgia Tech and Pete Thomas of North Carolina State transferred.
Miami also lost Morris' backup, Ryan Williams, to a knee injury, leaving the position “wide open,” according to coach Al Golden. The contenders are redshirt freshman Kevin Olsen, transfer Jake Heaps and freshmen Malik Rosier and Brad Kayaa. Heaps didn't arrive until last month after completing 49 percent of his passes at Kansas last season.
“We lost a lot of good ones,” Marquise Williams said. “But we have Jameis Winston back, me back.”
Almost ashamed, Williams laughed. He still hasn't been named the starter, even though he led North Carolina to a 5-1 record when Renner was injured. Redshirt freshman Mitch Trubisky, who was recruited by coach Larry Fedora — Williams was not — will challenge for the job.
Fedora sees nothing wrong with throwing the job open for competition.
“If we can get that kind of competition at every position, we will be a good football team,” he said. “To me, it was a natural. Everyone else made a big deal out of it.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pitt star running back Conner remains grounded despite success
- College football preview: ACC
- Despite being suspended, Boyd still making contributions for Pitt
- Pitt freshman O’Neill eats up switch to tackle
- Pitt’s Narduzzi names 4 captains
- Pitt’s Boyd, Blair suspended for Youngstown State game
- Pitt junior RB Ibrahim out for season with Achilles injury
- For freshman safety Whitehead, a role reversal at Pitt
- Pitt’s run-stuffing defensive line all ready to make a stand
- Woodland Hills pipeline a great fit for Pitt defense this season