Boyd's High School Coach Thinks the Tigers Have a Prize in New QB


by - Senior Writer -
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Clemson commitment Tajh Boyd, a 5-star quarterback out of Phoebus High School in Hampton, Va., made a huge splash in Clemson this past Wednesday when announced that he was choosing Clemson over both Ohio St. and Oregon, but according to Boyd’s high school coach, his biggest splash is yet to come.

Bill Dee is the head coach that led the Phantoms to their fourth state championship in the past eight seasons last year, a season that saw their offense score 720 points (54.6 points per game) while the defense gave up just 53 points the entire year.

Dee said that Boyd’s numbers this past season were down because the Phantoms were ahead early and often in most of those contests.

“His stats were not huge this year because we were ahead in most games,” Dee said. “We had a running clock in all ten of our regular season games, and he missed two games because of the knee injury. Any time the game got out of reach, I pulled him.

“Tajh is such a competitor - if you tell him to run the option and pitch it, he might keep it. If you told him to run the bootleg., he might see something and keep it. It got to where I would not run any of that stuff. In the last game of the regular season, we were up 49-0 in the first quarter, and a pass got tipped and intercepted and he was flying around trying to make the tackle. He is just a tough competitor and not a prima donna.”

Dee said that Boyd did not come to Phoebus until his sophomore year, but he said he knew before Boyd took the field for the first time that he had a special player simply because of his work ethic. Dee said that Boyd and his family were still living in Virginia Beach, prior to their move to Hampton, and Tajh and his father made the drive to Hampton several times a week to work out with the team.

“First of all, when a kid is willing to do that, and make that drive, that tells you something,” Dee said. “We couldn’t keep him off the field. You had to tell him at times to just go home. We knew then that he had all the intangibles. For me, that is just as key as throwing the out route. We started working with him, and he was young and had some mechanical things, but he had that live arm and you knew early on he had a chance.”

Dee said that it is Boyd’s work ethic that helps separate him from other players he has seen.

“Talent is no good without that work ethic,” Dee said. “He always had to do extra work all the time. You had to tell him to take a day off or he would not have any arm left. He is just one of those kids that will do anything to get better.

“You look at two things with a quarterback - is he a leader and is he a winner. Tajh is both of those. He had a 41-2 record here as a starter, so that tells you that he is a winner. And he is a very likable, hard-working kid, and he is a very good leader.”

Dee said that Boyd has all the tools to be a great quarterback for the Tigers, especially if he gets through the learning curve that exists between the high school and college games.

“No doubt, if he stays healthy and the coaches put him in the right situations, he will be successful,” Dee said. “It is a big transition from high school to college. He knows coverages and so forth, but they are going to disguise things in college. But if there is an open guy, he can make all the throws. He has a chance to be really successful there.”

Dee said that he was not shocked to see Boyd pick the Tigers over the Ducks and Buckeyes, especially because of the way that Boyd got along with Swinney, Billy Napier, and Danny Pearman, who all recruited him.

“You know, the other two schools had some real plusses, but they had some real negatives, too,” Dee said. “Clemson is coming in with a new staff, and Coach Swinney is kind of bringing him in as his guy, and those things kind of clicked for Tajh. Clemson has great facilities and a great atmosphere.

“I think the staff did a good job of selling the program. Coach Swinney did a good job of that and Coach Pearman and I have been knowing each other for a long time, so that helped me feel better about Clemson coming in here. I used to go down there in the 80’s when Coach Ford was there, so I know what a great place it is.”

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