Lean, mean, no-huddle machine

CLEMSON - So what is Tajh Boyd's weight loss secret? It's not Slim Fast, Nutrasystem, Atkins or the South Beat Diet.

Over the summer, Boyd dropped close to 15 pounds. The Tigers' second-year starter opened preseason camp looking trim at 220.

"It was a grind," he said. "It was a struggle out there."

So what exactly is his secret?

A Joey Batson weight program, skills and drills sessions and a well-balanced diet. Throw in a few workouts in 100-plus degree heat and you've got yourself one heck of a weight loss regiment.

"I feel like, at my ideal weight, this is where I'm best at," Boyd said. "I'm able to make smarter decisions. I'm able to sustain longer, things like that."

Boyd hopes those extra pounds won't creep their way back on to his frame during the latter part of the season.

That proved to be an issue in 2011.

"Last year, I started off at about 222, 223 and I started gaining weight throughout the season. It's important," Boyd said.

Less is more, particularly on the waistline.

"When a situation occurs and I need to take off, I need to be as fast and explosive as I can. I feel like, at this weight, that's where I can perform at," Boyd said.

The reigning ACC Player of the Year looks forward to performing under the bright lights of the Georgia Dome in next month's season opener against Auburn.

"For me, this is what I live for right here, games like this, the first game of the season," he said. "Everywhere I go, it's like, are you ready?"

"This is the way that we want to start the season off with, with a game like this, with a team like this just to get back at it. This is going to be fun."

Even in the dog days of August, he's having a blast.

"I'm smiling all the time. It's all about the way [teammates] view me and the way they see me work, so I'm excited about leading this team," Boyd said.

Dabo Swinney and Chad Morris were implored by Boyd before the start of preseason camp. His request was simple.

"One of the things I told coach Morris and coach Swinney, before we started camp, I said, ‘I want y'all to give me everything y'all got -- criticism, everything,'" Boyd said. "Because I need it, I need a challenge every day. It's about those guys pushing me to my limit. I'm going to push myself, of course.

"In a sense, the younger you are, the more you take it as those guys are getting at me. It's almost a disrespectful factor. But, the older you get, they just want me to be the best player possible."

He added, "I expect those guys to coach me hard. I expect the results to come out."

It's all in the game when you're asserting yourself as the leader.

He'll lead Clemson into the Georgia Dome without their most explosive playmaker. Sammy Watkins will be serving the first half of his two-game suspension.

"It's an unfortunate situation, but I really feel like this will give a lot of the guys an opportunity to step up for the first game," Boyd said.
Included in that group of guys will be the slim looking fellow sporting the No. 10 jersey.

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