Under the microscope

CLEMSON - Tajh Boyd knew what he was signing up for when he decided that playing quarterback would be his ticket.

A five-star prospect out of Phoebus High School in Hampton, Va., Boyd had a pretty good idea what life under the microscope would be like, but wasn't exactly sure what he was in store for until it all began.

"Being a quarterback of a major university you understand what comes with it; good, bad or indifferent," Boyd said. "You see it on TV. Then you experience it in real life.

"It's something that you have to be accustomed to. It's something that you have to grow into. Just the position in itself, you're essentially next in line to the coach. You've got your head coach, you've got your coordinators and quarterback."

While it's not always an easy job, Boyd doesn't mind what comes with the job description.

"That's why you play the position, because you love being able to handle all the situations and learn from it," he said.

Now that he's preparing for a jump to the next stage of his career, Boyd's taken on a role as an advisor to those still figuring things out at the college level. Among the guys that look to Boyd for guidance is Virginia quarterback David Watford, who also hails from Hampton.

"We talk pretty frequently. He's a couple of years younger than me. We're from the same area, rival high schools, right down the street," Boyd said. "It's always good to see a guy perform like that. As a person, he's just a great kid, great values, great morals, has a good family beside him.

"For a guy to be a representation of that [Hampton] area, being an older guy, you make sure that you can help out anyway possible. When he calls, asks for advice, I'm going to be there. I think it just comes with being from the area and also being a mentor as well."

Boyd looks forward to returning to his home state. It'll be just the second time in his college career that he's played a game in Virginia.

"It's going to be something else. To cap off a senior season, I know a lot of guys on the defense. I know a lot of guys on the team, so it will be a nice, little homecoming," he said.

Among those at Scott Stadium on Saturday will be players from the same Pop Warner program that Boyd played with when he was growing up, the Mustangs.

Boyd continues to give back to the group. Each year, he speaks at the program's banquet.

"To see some of those kids, to have an impact on their lives, it's probably the most important thing to me," Boyd said. "Just have to continue to be a positive role model and try to carry myself the best way as possible."

Because they're watching, lots of folks are watching. That's all part of the deal.

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