|Thursday, January 10, 2013, 9:07 AM- -|
They say the New York press is brutal but it seems Derek Jeter always says the right thing.
After the BCS title game Monday night All-American center Barrett Jones he didn't have to adhere to the Alabama talking points and media pointers he got from their handbook anymore. Jones had to say the right thing.
Tuesday afternoon we got another picture perfect press conference when
Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
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Boyd surprised many when he said he was leaning towards leaving at one point after the bowl game. But I think the biggest thing the came out of the press conference was Tajh showing us who he is and Clemson fans feeling a connection with their quarterback.
Boyd sounded like us when he he talked about he loved Clemson. He also hit several home runs with all of the talk about the team concept. Selfish athletes make headlines every day, so it was refreshing to hear Boyd's answers Tuesday.
“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, " Boyd said. "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. 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.”
"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 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."
Boyd was asked if this decision was financially driven or legacy driven. "Team-driven, honestly. This team has an opportunity to be mentioned among the great teams," he said. Could he have had a more perfect answer?
The surprise came in how close he was to leaving. "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."
“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.”
There are individual things to accomplish for Boyd. He will be mentioned in the preseason Heisman talk. He will be named to some All-American teams. He has a chance to break every Clemson passing record and win more games than any quarterback in school history. Clemson Hall of Fame is slam dunk but now could he one day be in our Ring of Honor?
But Boyd said he did not come back for any of those things. Team is a refreshing concept.
Today we rest easier knowing our All-American quarterback is coming back for his senior year but we feel even better knowing he feels like we do. He loves Clemson the way we do.
Toughness and leadership are two of the biggest attributes a quarterback can have and Boyd has both. We also know that the ones we truly love are remembered for their actions on the field and off. Tuesday Boyd showed us his love for Clemson and his teammates. Tuesday he took another step into becoming one of the greatest Tigers to ever play here.
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