Clemson and Florida State have combined for two of the last four national championships, and they have two of the best coaches in the game in Dabo Swinney and Jimbo Fisher. So it’s probably not wise to doubt them.
Nevertheless, both coaches are employing a risky strategy in their respective spring games. Both Clemson and Florida State are letting their quarterbacks take hits during the spring and letting them play live.
The move makes more sense for Clemson than it does for Florida State. The Tigers will be starting an inexperienced QB after the departure of Deshaun Watson, and right now that QB is expected to be Kelly Bryant.
Clemson is letting its quarterbacks go live in its spring game on Saturday, April 8 for the first time since 1992, according to TigerNet.com.
Florida State, on the other hand, has an experienced QB returning in sophomore Deondre Francois. Yet Fisher wants him to take some hits during the spring, despite the fact that Francois was hit plenty during the season last year.
“You have to play them live,” Fisher said via the Orlando Sentinel. “That makes him better.”
Francois said it makes him better to play in live situations. Fisher allowed Jameis Winston to be hit during the spring as well.
In theory, the strategy makes sense. Coaches want to see how quarterbacks will react in a game-like atmosphere, so it makes sense to mimic one in a spring game. However, if a QB like Francois gets hurt in a spring game, or if Clemson loses its starter, Fisher and Swinney might regret that decision.
(h/t CBS Sports)