Boyd taking positive approach, plans to push Parker

by - Senior Writer -
Boyd talks to the media after voluntary 7-on-7 passing drills with his teammates on Thursday.

CLEMSON – If Tajh Boyd turns out to be as good of a quarterback as he is a person, the Clemson Tigers could have one of the all-time greats on their hands.

The redshirt freshman, who probably spent much of the summer thinking that this would be the year he takes over as the starting quarterback for the Tigers, was his usual self on Thursday afternoon – happy and all smiles – as he left the Clemson practice field following voluntary 7-on-7 passing drills with his teammates.

This despite the news that incumbent starter Kyle Parker shocked the world and announced that he would be back at the helm for the Tigers in 2010, but Boyd said that he is a team player and if Parker being the starter makes the team better, then he is all for it.

“I know that he made the best decision for himself, and I’m a team guy, so this might be the best decision for the team,” Boyd said. “When we have a competition – that is best for everybody. This will be a good situation. I know we put in a lot of work, and I know I’m a talented guy, and I am still going to prepare every week like I’m the starter. I am going to prepare like I’m a starter in fall camp, too.”

Boyd said that he knows all of the hard work this summer won’t be in vain, simply because he has grown as a player and as a leader during the past few months.

“I am a big competitor,” he said. “We put in a lot of work this summer as a team, and me and Mike [quarterback Mike Wade] did, too. But everything we did might not be left undone. I am going to come to camp and keep working hard, and just see what happens. I think I’ve grown tremendously, and I’m more confident every time we come out there. I feel like more of a leader. I am trying to establish myself a little bit more, but more importantly, I’m just coming out and having fun.”

He said he didn’t know which way Parker was leaning, and didn’t stay up to hear the news Tuesday night, but he had plenty of news waiting on him when he woke up Wednesday morning. However, he said this is no time to hang his head.

“I woke up and had about 35 text messages,” he said laughing. “But it was all good. If I have to watch this year, then it will be a learning experience for this year. I will take this as a learning year and just keep working. Maybe this will be a good thing for me – you never know. But I feel good about the situation. I am going to just keep working and see what happens.”

Boyd admitted that things were a little fast for him during the spring, and that even though he understands he might not be the starter, all he has to do is look at Texas in last season’s National Championship game to understand that he is one play from taking over, as freshman Garrett Gilbert did when starter Colt McCoy got hurt in the first half against Alabama.

“Coming into the spring, I didn’t know what was going on,” Boyd said. “I thought I had an idea from working on the scout team, but when I took the field, it was a whole different transition. Last year at this time, it was a battle between Kyle and Willy [Korn], so I kind of just stood around. Now, I can’t really be Donnie Dumpster, because I know I have to prepare for whatever. Gilbert Garrett didn’t play all season, and then he went out and played and played well. You have to prepare yourself, and that is what I have to do.”

Boyd then added that when he does get his chances, he is going to make the best of them, and hopefully push Parker as well.

“This could be a good start for me,” he said. “When I do get out on the field, I am going to do my best to score as many touchdowns as I can. I am going to push him [Parker] as much as I can, which is the best thing for the team. Me and him are good friends. We are going to keep working and pushing

each other, just like we did last year and that is what we are going to do this time.”

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