Tajh Boyd ready to pounce

CLEMSON - When Dabo Swinney was recently asked about Tajh Boyd's 100-percent attendance during spring practice, the Clemson coach reached deep into his pocket and pulled out an orange chip.

Flipping the orange chip up in the air and catching it in his hand, Swinney just smiled and said, "He is all-in. He is all-in. That's what that says."

Boyd, who signed with Clemson in February and will enroll during Maymester at the university, has been visibly noticeable at every practice and scrimmage to this point. Wherever the quarterbacks are at he is there watching every move Willy Korn and Kyle Parker make, while absorbing and listening to every word offensive coordinator Billy Napier says.

"He is like a cheetah," former Clemson wide receiver and assistant director of athletic video services Henry Guess said. "It's like he's stalking his prey and is getting ready to pounce."

Whether or not he is going to pounce on Korn and Parker for the starting job, it is too early to tell. That will be determined in August. As for his determination and eagerness to learn and succeed, no one can deny that.

"I'm trying to soak up as much as I can," Boyd said. "I'm at all the meetings, all the practices and just going over all the plays and trying to pick it up. I think this is more like a bonus right now for me. I start school in May, so I'll pick it up."

Boyd, who is currently rehabilitating from ACL surgery, is probably one of the more competitive guys anyone will meet. After tearing his ACL in a high school game last fall, the future Clemson quarterback asked the training staff to put a brace on it so he could get back on the field.

When he eventually got back out there, he stayed there and finished the season, including any all-star games. He finished the year with more than 1,900 yards passing and 29 touchdowns, while also rushing for 450 yards and two more scores.

After a junior season that saw him complete 69 percent of his passes for 2,049 yards and 25 touchdowns with only six interceptions, Boyd's senior-year performance earned him Army All-American honors, which he followed up with a Co-MVP performance in the all-star game in San Antonio, Texas.

"He has a football mind. He is committed," Swinney said. "There is no doubt about it. He hasn't missed a meeting. At 6 a.m., he is there. Practice he is there. That kid loves it. He is a natural leader. That's why he will be a special player."

But Boyd isn't at the early morning quarterback meetings to just learn, he is competing the only way he can right now and don't think he doesn't have Korn's and Parker's attention.

"There is no doubt about it. Competition makes the world go round," Swinney said. "It is good for Ford to have Chevrolet put out a nice product and so forth and so on. Competition is what it is all about."

Boyd thinks all the studying and education he is getting on the offense will pay dividends down the road once he gets back on the field.

"The offense and terminology is a lot different from high school, but it's coming along pretty good," he said. "I'm starting to pick up everything, and I think this is just like an extra advantage for me.

"It's kind of difficult sometimes because I just want to get out there and throw the football, but I've just got to wait a little bit and just stay humble and keep working hard and I'll be alright."

CUTigers.com Top Stories