|QB guru compares Boyd to Packers' Aaron Rodgers|
|by David Hood - Senior Writer - Monday, March 25, 2013 12:52 PM||
Quarterback guru George Whitfield feels that Clemson has college football’s version of Aaron Rodgers in quarterback Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
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Boyd, the rising senior and starter, flew out to Pacific Beach, CA, for the second straight year over spring break to work with Whitfield, who works with quarterbacks on every level, from high school juniors and seniors to NFL quarterbacks such as Cam Newton and Ben Roethlisberger. This year, however, Boyd was joined by Kelly, who is in a battle with Cole StoudtCole Stoudt
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Whitfield said that he was able to see firsthand the progression Boyd has made since last spring, and has the added value of game experience.
“I think Tajh has definitely progressed. It’s obvious what Coach [Dabo] Swinney and Coach [Chad] Morris have continued to pour into him. He’s been through some great games and some great battles,” Whitfield said.
Then, he said that Boyd is the college football version of Aaron Rogers, the current signal caller for the Green Bay Packers and a former Whitfield pupil.
“I think he is college football’s version of Aaron Rodgers. I say that not to mean he is as good as Aaron Rodgers, because Tajh is still developing,” he said. “But in terms of a guy that can beat you in every sort of facet. He is quick of mind, quick of eyes, quick of feet. A strong arm and a quick release. Not everyone has both. And the presence to try and penetrate the defense consistently. Obviously, it is hard to overlap players, but for college football’s version of a guy and a competitor, I like Aaron Rodgers.”
Whitfield said that with the weapons Boyd has at his disposal, he felt like he had a pretty good idea of what kind of season could be awaiting the Clemson faithful in 2013.
“A momentous one. With all that he has built up and generated over the last two years and the experience he has had of not just playing against big-time programs and big-time quarterbacks, he is filing it all away and I think it will be a BCS-type of outcome for Clemson. Given all of the weapons and given all of the experience this team has and then give them one of the most complete play-callers in all of college football to come back and play, this type of season is going to be overwhelming.”
Whitfield then detailed the attributes that make Boyd a Heisman Trophy contender next season.
“He operates at a high level, mechanically and fundamentally,” he said. “That allows him to go out and dominate games from within the pocket. He can take off and make plays down field and he can also get out and reset the pocket. I am excited about him. He is easily one of the best quarterbacks in the country. “
He was asked if Boyd had any glaring weaknesses, and he said no.
“I don’t know that he has a glaring weakness. He is incredibly smart and has a high football IQ,” he said. “He is tough as you and the rest of the nation have seen him take shots and seen him be absolutely relentless in driving a team down [the field]. There are things he can work on. We tell them that every year Mercedes is going to make another model, even if they have the car of the year. Every year, you want to make sure you are sharp and ahead of the game and you are working on your consistency. I don’t know if he has any glaring weakness.
“This year was more reinforcing what he says he has done with Coach Morris. Being sharp with the ability to read tendencies. Maintaining a good throwing posture and setup throughout the play. Having balance and smoothness in his weight transition. All things that he said he and Coach Morris have been working on.”
And the difference he sees between the two Clemson quarterbacks?
“Experience is one. The thing that Chad and most redshirt freshmen are looking to develop is experience,” he said. “I would say Tajh is among the best in the country at that. Clemson is in great hands for years to come…. that is without a doubt. I had the chance to spend quite a bit of time with Chad two summers ago, so it was no surprise to me about his ability. But it is still kind of like the difference between a surgeon and a medical student between the two of them. “
Kelly and Stoudt are in a heated battle for the second string spot behind Boyd, and we asked Whitfield if he thought Kelly was ready to play.
“Chad could be leading some programs out there this year, in my opinion,” Whitfield said. “He is capable and he is gutty, and he is great. And he is very smart. He was one of the smartest young guys we had at the Elite 11 finals. Just in terms of understanding concepts and where the ball is supposed to go, how the defense tries to manipulate you. What you have to do to hold reads until the receiver flows back open. He is very, very acclimated to all those sorts of things.
“And he also had one of the biggest arms in the class. Clemson, they are quarterback rich. In terms of being able to take over, I think he could. If you dropped him off at another team in that conference or at another team in a BCS conference, I think he would be fine. He would go out there and have growing pains and learning moments like any youngster. But I think he could go out there and fly the ship and play for quite a few of them. “
Whitfield said that Kelly has all of the tools required to be a great quarterback.
“I think he does. The single most important element in that is that he wants to be,” he said. “He sees himself as that, and then you have to look at his God-given tools and the aspects to his game. Hopefully, he’s going to have the same opportunities at Clemson that Tajh has in Coach Swinney and Coach Morris, because those guys have really done an incredible job with Tajh’s development. If you let Chad stay in that system and he has that same kind of oversight and development, he’s going to have a chance. Clemson is quarterback rich.”
Whitfield ended the interview by saying that both quarterbacks made sure Clemson was well-represented during and after the workouts.
“Both of these guys, it was Clemson out here all day,” he said. “They were training with Vad Lee from Georgia Tech and some others, but even when they were getting to breakdown and leaving the field they were All In. Every quarterback out here had that type of mantra from your two Tigers being out here. In between workouts, they would check pictures and check texts from friends who were at the classic spring break sites, and neither one of them said a single thing. They know that their job is to continuously work to make sure that they have what is going to be needed in the fall. That was a pretty cool thing to have both of these guys out here going after the little things to get to the big things in the fall during spring break.”
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