CLEMSON — It will be an unusual campaign.
The candidates won't harp on their opponents' deficiencies, they'll likely be praising the idea of competition.
After Monday's first spring practice, Clemson quarterback candidate Willy Korn and Kyle Parker were surrounded by cameras and recorders in what figures to be the first of 15 spring media sessions centered around the question: who is winning the quarterback race?
"This is my opportunity to prove to my teammates and coaches that I can be the guy to lead this team," Korn said. "Competition is what makes everybody better. I wouldn't want it any other way."
It will likely take some time for either Korn or Parker to create separation. Korn said it may take several weeks for the new offensive wrinkles, such a more quarterback run-options, to be installed.
What Korn could speak to was the health of his shoulder, which he said feels "natural" following offseason surgery to repair cartilage damage. He has been on a throwing and strength-building regimen. He felt the shoulder was back to 100 percent in February.
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said Korn looked much better throwing the ball Monday than prior to his surgery.
"He threw the ball well today,'' Swinney said. "We have to continue to work on accuracy with all of them and velocity."
Velocity doesn't figure to be an issue with Parker, but getting to Tuesday's 7 p.m. practice, which is open to the public, might be. Parker will be in Jack Leggett's baseball lineup for Clemson's 4 p.m. game against Michigan State. Swinney joked that he'll have a golf cart waiting for Parker.
If Parker and Korn didn't have enough motivation, highly regarded Clemson quarterback signee Tajh Boyd was at practice Monday. He and his family have moved to Clemson even though he won't be able to participate in spring ball. Boyd is recovering from ACL surgery and is in town to get started on digesting the playbook and terminology.
"I tried to figure out how we could slip him in today,'' Swinney said.
Boyd took the politically correct route and said he is OK with idea of redshirting. He did add that he chose Clemson in part because of the quarterback opening left by the departure of Cullen Harper.
Richt leaves Clemson
Swinney announced that quarterback Jon Richt has left the program and will transfer to a smaller school. Richt is the son of University of Georgia head coach Mark Richt.
Richt was not considered a contender for the starting quarterback position. His move leaves Korn, Parker and Michael Wade as the three quarterbacks to handle spring snaps.
Harper rolls ankle
Clemson running back Jamie Harper, who figures to be James Davis II, rolled his ankle in Monday's practice, but Swinney didn't suggest the that tweak was serious.
Harper's weight is down to 221 pounds. Swinney said he has had to learn how to take care of his body and avoid "Twinkies at 2 a.m.''
While starting running back C.J. Spiller will be the focus of the rushing attack Harper could be his main complement.
The egalitarian way
Swinney said Monday he is doing away with traditional numerical depth-chart designations: i.e. starters are the 1s, backups are the 2s, etc. Swinney said he'll refer to depth chart layers as swarm, attack and pride.
"Tell a guy he is a two or a three long enough,'' Swinney said, ``he starts to believe that he is a two or a three.''
— Travis Sawchik