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Boyd announces he will return, but thought earlier that bowl win was his last


  by - Senior Writer - Wednesday, January 9, 2013 4:31 PM
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CLEMSON – Clemson quarterback Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS Jr. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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took his time strolling off of the field following Clemson’s dramatic 25-24 win over LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl New Year’s Eve, soaking up all of the sights and sounds, the thought in his mind that his would be last true collegiate experience.

It was a few minutes before midnight, and he knew that once the clock struck 12, there might be more than just a new year to look forward to in 2013 as he pondered the possibilities of bolting for the NFL.

As it turns out, however, he will be able to soak in the admiration and cheers of the Clemson faithful and experience the wonder that is college football for one final season.

Boyd announced to the media Wednesday afternoon in the WestZone that he was staying for his redshirt senior season and will hopefully accomplish several personal and team goals in the process.

“I’ve enjoyed my time here at Clemson, been a part of a great family, and learned so much as a person, as a player. And I don’t think I’m ready to give that up yet, so I’m here to announce that I will be returning for my senior season,” Boyd said. “It was a big process going into it. I had pros and cons for each side. But, for me, it came down to my enjoyment here. I love Clemson. I love college football. I feel like I had a good enough grade to go out and have an opportunity to go out there and compete. But, at the same time, I’m not ready to just drop this right now. I feel like we’ve got a lot of things we have left on the table here at Clemson. Hopefully, I’m here to see those things out.”

Boyd finished the 2012 season with a Clemson record 4,410 total offensive yards. That broke his own 2011 record of 4,046 and made him the first player in ACC history with two 4,000-yard seasons in terms of total offense. He was also named the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year after throwing for 3,896 yards and 36 touchdowns and improving his completion percentage to 67 percent. He also showed he can make plays with his feet, rushing for 514 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Boyd said his performance in the bowl game led to his thinking that he may leave early.
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"At first, it seemed to me to be a pretty clear-cut decision," Boyd said. "I had told myself, I had a little list, and I said if I do this and this against LSU, then I'm going to come out. That's what I was thinking earlier. But the more I talked about it, I got some great counsel and advice. I got to talk to Dwayne [Allen] and it helped me with my thought process and the way I measured everything up. It wasn't just flipping a coin. It was something I had to think about."

Boyd said he walked off the field in the Georgia Dome seriously thinking it would be his last moments in a Clemson uniform and wanted to cherish every second, and didn’t really make his mind up until late Tuesday evening.

“It was probably last night, because it was pretty much back-and-forth,” Boyd said. “I tried to sit down and think about it. I was excited about it, but I do want to play in this arena one more year, and hear those cheers one more year. I looked up in the stands after the bowl game, and I saw all of the fans and saw all of the orange, and I wanted to just take it all in. I really thought after the game that I would be leaving.”

Boyd said the opportunity to chase another conference title and a possible national championship also weighed heavily in his decision.

"I've developed so much since I've been here, from a personal standpoint, to my faith, and as a player," Boyd said. "I feel like I can continue to develop a little bit more. When Coach [Dabo] Swinney came in, he had this vision and dream for this program. And I sort of had the same type of deal. I feel like we have an opportunity to do something special next year. I've gotten better each year and we've gotten better each year. The way our off-season is going to go, and the way all of our players are going to be pushed, I think we can do something even more special."

I asked Boyd if he had talked to wide receiver Nuk Hopkins – who faces the same decision – and Boyd said he really hasn’t had the chance to talk with the junior receiver.

“He is going to make an assessment, and do what’s best for himself and his family,” Boyd said. “Hopefully, he is with us, but everybody has to do what is best for their needs.”



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