Talkin' with Tajh

CLEMSON - Tajh Boyd will make one last trek down The Hill on Saturday.

How does it feel getting ready to play your last game in Death Valley
Boyd: It is special. I have thought about it over the course of the year, time has been winding down. It really hit me when I was driving yesterday and thinking about the game last week and how it was my last night game in the valley. It all comes to an end but it has been a good ride for sure.

What do you think will be the biggest emotion for you? When the final seconds tick off and everyone is gathered around you or your last trip down the hill?
Boyd: It will be probably be the last seconds because I have not really run down the hill much this season just cause it is a little tough, it is a steep hill. It will probably be with the crowd gathering and things of that nature because it is enjoyable the way that it is set up. A lot of teams keep it blocked off from the fans but for us to be engaged with them and them getting a chance to participate with us, that has to be one of my favorite memories about it.

Your shoulder does not feel bad, your collarbone does not feel sore right now?
Boyd: No it does not feel terrible. It is still a little sore but I think that is just the nature of it. It is still a little bit bruised but treatment is taking care of that.

Dabo said that your senior class really transformed this program, do you feel like your class has transformed this program?
Boyd: No, I have talks with our guys and the dandy dozen crew. We feel like we have had an impact on it for sure but there have been more measures to correlate with that so we feel like we are a big part of it but at the same time, it has been a total effort from a community of people. We are just glad to be a part of it.

Since you came in here in January of 2009, did you ever think you would be sitting right here holding 52 Clemson records, a couple ACC records, and one of the best quarterbacks not only this school has had but also the ACC?
Boyd: That's something that I thought could be a realistic thought for me. That is what I told the coaches, that is what I expected and what I wanted. I think as you go through the redshirt year, you start to get doubts and things but you do not come in with the expectation to do all that. All you want to do is go out there and be able to compete at a high level. Division one football is one of the highest levels next to the highest level of football. For us and for playing for Clemson, you just want to come in and impact the program if you can.

What were some of those doubts that you had?
Boyd: Well, if you redshirt and this is what I talk about to our guys that redshirt because if you do not have the right group of people that you are talking to, you can start to build doubt. I remember sitting there with Rod and Meeks and we were all together. At one point, we were all talking about transferring and things of that nature, just the freshmen thoughts that you get. It is the same thing that you get from the freshmen now. The best part for me is to reflect on that point in my career and help push those guys a little bit because it is more challenging than people think it is to be playing football all your life and to get to college and then redshirt and not play at all. Even though you are a part of the team and a part of the program and a part of the scout team, you do not feel like your role is that significant; which it really is significant. You are really making an impact but you do not understand how important it is until you get to the point where you are an older guy and you are playing. So, it is important to make sure all of these guys are appreciated and they all have a hand in what we do.

I think you have seven guys that are still left from your class, when you have such a small class, does that create more of a bond for you seniors that are still here?
Boyd: For sure, I think it does. I think the relationship gets stronger the older that you can get because when you come in although you are on the same team, it is more like a competition when you first get here of who is going to be the first to play and who is going to make the impact and who is going to be the star player. I think as you get older you start to understand that everybody's role is pivotal, it is important. You start to appreciate that person beside you, you start to appreciate those classmates because again it is more than just a football relationship. Football is just a small part of life, it is a minimal part of life but the weight that it carries is so heavy. So, you just have to enjoy it and enjoy those relationships while you can because they are going to be gone before you know it. You do not know who is going to keep in touch and who is not going to keep in touch.

What is one of your favorite memories here as far as home games?
Boyd: Getting a chance to clench the division against Wake Forest a couple years ago. It definitely was not a pretty win. We won in the last moment in a field goal by Catman but it was somewhat of a milestone for us because it was not something we had done. We had not been to the championship game in a long time and even though we had won those big games earlier in the year, I think that was a little bit sweeter because it proceeded to carry us to things that we had not done. So I think it was somewhat of a turning point and that is probably one of my favorite memories.

Your dad has a military background, what does this week mean to you?
Boyd: It is always special. Again, I mean you watch the news and see things on television that you can only fathom. You do not really understand. You would like to put yourself in their shoes but you really do not know. So, I hear stories from Rodriguez and I hear the stories from family members but again, it is something that you can only imagine. So, for us to get out here and get a chance to play football, a sport, a game that we love, is awesome. I think it is also important to not only make sure we appreciate the right for this game, but also just appreciate the life that we live.

What has been the difference these last few weeks as offense keeps gaining more momentum…are you really happy the way this offense seems to be steam rolling these last few weeks?
Boyd: For sure, I think the guys are playing really confident, really comfortable, and just having a lot of fun. We are just focused on each play at hand, they do not think about the last drive, the next drive, we are only trying to accomplish what we can at that particular moment and I think you see that with the guys. I think you see that with offensive line with the camaraderie they are having; whether it is Giff at right tackle, whether it is Battle, whether it is Shaq, I think all those guys are coming in and trying to do their absolute best. Martavis is playing some of his best ball, Williams is doing an outstanding job. So, all of these guys are just coming together and playing their best football and I think anytime you have a football program, you envision playing your best ball at the end of the year and I think that is what we are doing right now.

Have you allowed yourself to look ahead to next week?
Boyd: Not at all. People are good at reading body language, reading demeanors, I think that is something we realize the older we get in life. If I carry myself a certain way or act a certain way, those guys are going to do the same thing. So, how I am, how I act, and how I talk, it all reflects on me and it pretty much translates to those guys and we cannot afford that, we do not need that right now. You can be beat on any given Saturday and we just need to go out and play the game.


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