Freshman QB Tajh Boyd Makes a Splash at Practice

by - Senior Writer -

Tajh Boyd is quickly making his mark.

The highly-touted freshman quarterback admitted that he was in a little bit over his head on Tuesday, but is starting to feel more comfortable in his surroundings, and proved it by providing one of the big plays in Thursday’s practice when he connected with tight end Dwayne Allen on a 66-yard touchdown that had his head coach singing his praises.

”Tajh is just getting better every day, even though there is a lot on him right now,” Swinney said. “There is a lot coming at him every day, but you can see him getting better. I really like his demeanor. He is really kind of relaxed and settling in. It was good to see him make that long throw, and it was a rocket coming off his shoulder. It was a thing of beauty. He has God-given natural talents. There is still a long way to go for him to be game-ready, but we think we’ll keep him around here for a while.”

Boyd sounded more like an upperclassman than a freshman when describing his touchdown to Allen.

”I came up to the line, and the defense was in Cover 2, so I knew the middle of the field was open,” Boyd said. “The pocket kind of collapsed, and I stepped up. Dwayne had Scotty Cooper on him, and I put a little touch on the ball and just let him run under it.

“When I came up to the line, I was expecting the defense to rotate, because they do that a lot, but they stayed in Cover 2. If they would have rotated, I would have gone to the sideline or to my checkdown on that play, but when I saw them stay in Cover 2, and saw Dwayne run up the seam, I hit him.”

Boyd said that he is trying to get used to the speed of the college game, and come away from each practice with a little more experience under his belt.

”I have to admit, that first day was a little rough,” Boyd said with a chuckle. “I didn’t really know what I was reading and everything, but I got some first team reps yesterday, and I think I’m getting better and better each day. The objective is to keep improving every day, and I think I am doing that. I am just having fun and working hard.”

The talented freshman indicated that he felt up good physically, with his surgically-repaired knee (torn ACL) being close to 100 percent, and that the hardest thing was the mental side of being a college quarterback.

”The biggest difference between high school and college is definitely the mental thing,” he said. “Physically, everybody is kind of the same, but mentally, it is knowing where you are going or which way the defense is rotating or are they disguising the coverage. I have been studying the playbook a lot, though, and hopefully I’m steadily getting better. I don’t get a whole bunch of reps, but I’m trying to take advantage of the ones I get.”

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