Christopher Smith

Clemson QB Deshaun Watson To Miss Spring Game

Created on Apr. 08, 2014 6:25 PM EST

A redshirt season is looking more and more likely for touted Clemson freshman quarterback Deshaun Watson.

Watson, a five-star signee ranked as the top quarterback by Rivals and the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback by ESPN, suffered a collarbone injury in a scrimmage Monday afternoon, according to the team website.

The 6-foot-3, 188-pound quarterback from Gainesville, Ga., was behind upcoming senior Cole Stoudt and upcoming sophomore Chad Kelly, according to ESPN's Heather Dinich, but "it's been a very close race, and one that likely won't end until this summer. Watson has made enough plays to impress the coaching staff and keep things interesting."

Watson participated in the entire 90-play scrimmage and will not require surgery, according to the Clemson athletic website, suffering a "slight crack" in his collarbone.

"This is a shame because he was having an outstanding spring," coach Dabo Swinney said of Watson. "Fortunately this is not a serious injury. I hate that he will miss the Spring Game. I know a lot of people were anxious to see him make his debut in Death Valley.

"But he will be fine by the time summer workouts start again in May."

Whomever starts at quarterback for Clemson will need to work with a young, inexperienced, but talented group of receivers and replace record-setting quarterback Tajh Boyd.

"We'd love to redshirt him, but if he's given the opportunity to play, he's a guy that if the door opens for him, he may never look back," offensive coordinator Chad Morris told about Watson earlier this month. "He's got that type of ability."

If Stoudt does win the job, it's his last season of eligibility, leaving the position open again next spring.