Boyd raises bar at Clemson

CLEMSON - Chad Morris told reporters after last Saturday's romp over Virginia that Tajh Boyd has set the standard for quarterbacks at Clemson.

"Both on the field and off," Morris said.

One of the most decorated players in school history; among the honors on Boyd's resume include All-American, ACC Player of the Year and MVP of the ACC Championship. He also re-wrote the Clemson record book.

The stats, wins and laundry list of accomplishments that haven't happened in a longtime at Clemson, all that stuff speaks to the kind of legacy that Boyd will leave behind in about two months.

But that's not necessarily how Boyd will be remembered by the folks who were there to question, record and report almost every step of he took over the last five years.

It didn't take Boyd long to make sure things got off on the right foot. The new five-star import regularly made his way by the assembled group of media-types assembled outside of the practice fields. Always smiling, high-fives, hand shakes and exchanges of dap soon became the norm.

Over the last five years, he hasn't veered too far of course. Boyd remains more than cordial with every reporter that crosses his path in the West End Zone.

As a people, reporters are generally easy to please. Just play well, don't become a regular in the police blotter and give honest, thoughtful, genuine, and sometimes funny answers during interviews. Five years later, Boyd, way more often than not, has done all of those things.

On Tuesday, during one of Boyd's final sit-downs with the local writers and TV folks, the path got a little nostalgic.

The following questions and answers are from his Tuesday media obligation:

What goes through your mind when you think about your last few games coming up?
Boyd: I guess all good things come to an end, but it's all bittersweet for me," he said. "Looking forward to the opportunity to play at the level, looking forward to seeing what life presents, but at the same time, being here, being apart of something that, at the moment, is all you know. It's kind of one of those deals. What happens from here? You know it becomes a job. You know that this is a livelihood, not just something of going to school. It's a daily regimen.

What do you want to accomplish in these last three games?
Boyd: Obviously, we want to win all three of these games. Right now, it's all about making memories. This senior class that we have, it wasn't very big when we got recruited. And it's gotten smaller as time went along, so just getting a chance to engage with these guys, trying to hang out with these guys, try to make the most out of the time with these guys. It's the biggest thing for me right now. Guys that I didn't hang out with as much, let's try to spend some time together the next course of this month and this bowl season, try to make the most out of it, because we never know what's going to happen from here.

Has it hit you that it's your last month as a Clemson football player?
Boyd: Yeah, for sure. I kind of smile about it. I was working out yesterday and I was sitting there and I was like, ‘OK. Citadel is going to be the last home game. it's probably going to be a noon game or something like that.' I was thinking maybe I'll sit with some of the guys, maybe we'll come back after the game, later on that evening and we'll kind sit back in the stadium and just try to make the most out of it. In the ned, that's going to be our last home game as a player here. Next time, it will be for tailgating or whatever else occurs.

Is it hard to believe that it's that close to ending?
Boyd: Yeah. It's been a long process, but at the same time, it's moved fast, so I can only imagine how fast life moves in general. I guess you guys can kind of be witnesses to that. One of the things that coach Swinney mentioned to us, regardless of what happens over the next course of the rest of this season, this is the only time that we know what's going to be in front of us. We don't know what's going to happen. After this, we don't know what's going to happen. Even if you're going to have an opportunity to play at the next level, you don't know what team. Some guys don't know what jobs they're going to be working [or] who they're going to marry. It's just things of that nature. It becomes real life after this, so just trying to make the most out of it.

What's your favorite memory of Clemson? What do you want to accomplish?
Boyd: I always enjoy the banquets at the end of the year. You have all the seniors sitting up there. They have their bow ties on. Behind them are their jerseys with a picture signed by coach Swinney. I don't know why we need the signed picture. We see the guy everyday. You just see the growth and the experience of the guys. Everything around here is kind of metaphorical, kind of symbolic. When you come in as a freshman, you sit in that team room, you start in the back of the room. As you get older, you start to move up. Freshmen are in the back and seniors are in the front. I think it's kind of symbolic of your life, about how everything goes in life. It's new to you, you're kind of afraid. Each year, you start to feel more confident. You start to realize that you're starting to become your own person. At the end, you think you're at the end of the road. In the next step in your life, you're going to be in the back of the room again.

Obviously, the one thing that everybody wants to accomplish here, we haven't done it. We've got to beat South Carolina. Everybody knows that in the back of their mind. At the same time, it will get here when it gets here.

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