Boyd discusses Watson and the backup quarterbacks


by - Assoc. Editor -
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Former Clemson standout Tajh Boyd knows the quarterback position well as he passed for 11,904 yards with a 64.3% completion rate, 107 touchdowns, and 39 interceptions during his outstanding collegiate career.

He also rushed for 1,100 yards and another 26 scores on the ground. The former fan-favorite was also the ACC Player of the year in 2012.

Boyd spoke with WCCP's Scott Cole during a recent podcast about Deshaun Watson and the rest of the stable of talented quarterbacks at Clemson.

Watson doesn't get rattled and plays his best home or away and that is one of his finest attributes according to Boyd.

"What makes Deshaun different - there are a lot of talented quarterbacks in college football," Boyd said. "There is a lot of guys that can throw it, can run it, but what separates him is his poise, his calming presence in the locker room and on the field. That is something that you can't recruit. It's something you can't buy. It has to happen. These guys have to have this "it" factor. Deshaun definitely has it. I never worry about him in certain situations on the road, at home, when things don't go well, when he faces adversity. I think he has proven he can overcome a little bit of everything."

Boyd thinks that Nick Schuessler probably is the #2 quarterback right now with his years of experience.

"I think (Nick) Schuessler is the number two right now," Boyd said. "Does Kelly Bryant have upside? Absolutely. Does he have the talent? But the experience is invaluable. He hasn't had much game time experience yet. We saw what he could do in the Miami game. He flashed some great things in the spring game. So it really comes down to what the coaches want. Do they want to take the younger guy and let him compete and get the reps? Or do they want to continue to let the senior work in and be that other presence in that huddle and that locker room and on the sideline."

Boyd would pick Schuessler to play if the Tigers were without Watson and were up a touchdown against Auburn.

"At this point I would go with Schuessler," Boyd said. "Just because of everything that he has seen and everything he has experienced. I know he has the respect of his teammates around him and you just got to give a guy a shot. If I had to bank on it I probably just put Schuessler out there and let him handle it. Let him run the four-minute offense and not force anything."

However, he would select Bryant if the Tigers needed a tying score and were without the services of Watson at Auburn.

"I don't know," Boyd said. "I think Kelly definitely has that second gear, that extra playmaking ability. You can only test that by being in that situation, but being thrown into the fire. I probably ride with Kelly, just for the simple fact that, instinctually, there are things you can't coach. Things you can't teach. I think he runs like a receiver. He has a cannon for an arm. He is only going to get better with experience with time. If you down and you got to make a play just put him out there and see what happens."

What about the ultra-talented freshman quarterback Zerrick Cooper?

"From everything I have heard from the players associated with the program the guy has been outstanding so far in offseason workouts and in the summer," Boyd said. "From what I am hearing he has been very quiet, but on the field he has been very loud if you get what I am saying. The guy comes out there and works. He understands what is going on. He is getting a very good understanding of the offense right now. He's very mature beyond his years. They said the guy makes smart decisions and can throw the ball all over the place. I think he is intriguing. I don't think people talk about him enough."

(Scott Cole is a WCCP radio-host on 12-3pm Wednesdays and Fridays and will co-host the Tiger Pregame Show this season on WCCP, and his website is ScottColeShow.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @ScottColeShow)

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