Boyd out to prove doubters and critics wrong

by - Senior Writer -

Following Clemson’s thrilling bowl win over LSU on the last day of 2012, quarterback Tajh Boyd Tajh Boyd
Quarterback (2009 - 2013)
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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made up his mind to leave Clemson a year early and enter the NFL Draft. If he had followed through on that decision, he might have been a late first round pick.

Instead, he chose to return to Clemson for his senior season, and he Saturday at the NFL scouting combine that he didn’t regret his decision.

“Pretty much after the game, I told myself that I was leaving. That’s kind of what I had envisioned after the game,” Boyd said. “I had set a standard and a mark and if I would’ve accomplished that during the LSU game then that would have catapulted me in the draft. That’s what happened, but I kind of sat back and realized what I wanted to do and that I wanted to come back for my senior season. I don’t regret my decision at all.”

Boyd said he wanted to make sure he was ready for the next step in his life, and the extra year in the Clemson program prepared him for that step.

“I feel like I wanted to be ready for this transition. You’re not just stepping into football; you are stepping into everything else, as well,” he said. “You have to be ready for whatever life throws at you – the finances, the family. Not just football – that’s a small part of it. I wanted to be ready for it. I wanted to make sure I educated myself. I think that’s what I did.”

He also said he doesn’t put a lot of stock in where people say he will be drafted, and his goal at the combine is to prove that he belongs.

“Coming into the season, I was supposedly a Top 15 pick and now you hear this and that, but nobody really knows until April,” he said. “I’m just trying to come out here and show what I can do. I don’t think there’s any quarterback here that’s better than me and I have to come out here and prove that.”

Highlights from Boyd’s press conference

On the experience of the NFL combine

“The experience has been good. It has been a good one. It has been similar to the Senior Bowl in that that I’ve had the chance to interact with the guys and interact with the teams. I’ve been trying to enjoy the experience and make the most out of the moment that I have.”

What he brings to the table

“I feel like that I have a lot of versatility and that I can sit back and throw the ball from any angle. I think that one of my greatest assets is the way I release the ball. I can release the ball from any angle – high, side armed or the three-quarter release. Ultimately, I just win games – 32-8 at Clemson, 43-2 in high school. Winning is just something that I’ve always been a part of. Whatever team I go to, I’m just going to try to make the most out of, contribute as much as possible, and try to enjoy myself.”

Handling adversity

“You get it on all levels, but at the same time, I feel like you just have to handle it. At quarterback you just have to make sure you answer those questions and some you may not ever get answered. You just have to be ready for it no matter what happens.”

On Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Wide Receiver (2011 - 2013)
#2 6-1, 205
Fort Myers, FL

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“One thing that Sammy offers is his work ethic. He is probably the most complete receiver here. He’s just a very wise guy. He’s very mature beyond his years and he’s going to be an asset to whatever team drafts him.

A lot of people have a misconception about him. They think he’s a little bit too serious and that he’s not as intelligent as he really is. He’s a very out-going guy. He’s very eloquent. He has a lot of intellect. He’s very good natured. He’s going to be a good fit wherever he goes. I enjoyed my time with him at Clemson.

I think we complemented each other. You don’t go three seasons with the kind of stats we had and not have a good nature. I had some great guys and we worked well together. “

What he has worked on

“It’s a little different. I feel like I always had a quick release, but it’s a little more compact now. My footwork is smoother. I’m more on balance with my throws. I’m ready to get out here and throw it around tomorrow.

That’s one thing that happens at Clemson – the ball comes out a little quicker. It comes from different areas. One of the questions I got from a lot of coaches – are you able to play in a progressive offense. Are you able to manage that. I don’t think it’s a problem at all.”

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