Clemson redshirt sophomore Chad Kelly, who was battling to succeed Tajh Boyd as the Tigers’ starting quarterback, was dismissed from the football team Monday by head coach Dabo Swinney.
“I have dismissed Chad Kelly for conduct detrimental to our program,” said Swinney. “He has had a pattern of behavior that is not consistent with the values of our program. I hope he will mature and grow from this and become the man and player I know he can be. I wish him nothing but the best in the future academically and athletically.”
The decision comes just two days after Kelly, who was battling for the starting job with senior Cole Stoudt and freshman Deshaun Watson, was reportedly yelling at his coaches in Clemson’s spring game on Saturday. Kelly threw two interceptions and became upset when associate head coach Jeff Scott decided to punt on a fourth-and-three. Kelly was then benched for the entire second half.
"You're not going to have guys crossing a line with the coaches just because they're frustrated with whatever," Swinney said Saturday. "He got frustrated and reacted the way your leader can't react. It's just that simple. Chad Kelly is an awfully talented young man. Made a couple impulse decisions today that were kind of out of character for him. The biggest thing is he got frustrated. Maturity, leadership, that's a huge part of that position. Those are two things he's got to continue to work on. It's a lot more than just the skills."
Kelly, the nephew of Hall of Fame Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly, was a four-star recruit and the No. 150 overall prospect in the class of 2012. Before he even arrived on campus, he took shots at Stoudt on Twitter.
Kelly redshirted the 2012 season and played in five games in 2013. He completed 10-of-17 passes for 58 yards while also rushing 16 times for 117 yards and a touchdown.
With Kelly out of the picture and Watson going down during spring practice with a collarbone injury, Stoudt looks likely to be at the top of the depth chart heading into the summer.
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