Connection made

CLEMSON - The Tajh Boyd to DeAndre Hopkins connection started during last summer's skills and drills workouts and continued periodically through the fall.

Clemson's new starting quarterback and top returning wide receiver are back to building that trust in one another again this spring.

"Last year, over the summer, it was Tajh and me. I thought Tajh and I had a great chemistry in the offseason," Hopkins said. "In the game, he threw my first touchdown and I caught his first touchdown, so we vibe together very well. Tajh and I are on the same track every play. We know the coverage.

"I pretty much look him in the eyes and he looks me in the eyes, so many times we're on the same page."

According to Hopkins, who caught a team-high 52 passes for 637 yards and four touchdowns in 2010, it's Boyd who's provided a renewed sense of confidence among those Tigers that play on the offensive side of the ball.

"Everybody thought last year that Tajh should have had more opportunities to lead this team," Hopkins said. "Now that he's out there, guys feel comfortable with him. Off the field, we vibe with the quarterback very well. We go out to eat. It's more of a team thing than last year-it feels like on the offensive side. And guys are buying into this offense."

The offense, a smash-mouth spread, as offensive coordinator Chad Morris likes to call it, has also brought a new dynamic to the table.

"The schemes aren't too complicated, so it helps the wide receivers and the running backs out," Hopkins said. "It's kind of a simple offense, but there are a lot of things that go into it."

It helps that the central figure is willing to put in the work. Hopkins said Boyd's organized passing sessions with receivers on off days.

Not only does the work foster chemistry between Boyd and Hopkins, but it's also developing Boyd's comfort with the other receivers.

"All I can say is he's getting better every day. I can't put a number on where he is right now. All I can say is Tajh is working and getting better every day," Hopkins said.

And that's got to be exciting for Clemson fans that are ready to see the offense fly out of the gate in Saturday's Orange and White spring game, which kicks off at 4 p.m. in Death Valley.

"I feel like the sky's the limit for this offense," Hopkins said. "I feel like guys know that we can do it. We're going to keep working and hope this summer and spring pays off." Top Stories