Tajh Boyd trying to make most of opportunities

by - Senior Writer -

CLEMSON – Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd said there is definitely a different feeling to football this spring than last fall, when he was trying to battle through recovery from a torn ACL and working predominantly with the scout team.

And that difference was quickly noted during Monday’s spring practice, the second for the Tigers, when Boyd dropped back to pass, scanned the defense, and then rifled a bullet in between three defenders for a completion to back up tight end Drew Taylor.

“I kind of caught it a little bit from the coaches after that one,” a smiling Boyd said after practice. He was the last one to leave the field after sticking around to make extra throws, and said he realizes he still has a lot to work on.

“I am just trying right now to speed the game, and make sure I know all of the reads, and get my timing down,” he said. “I know it’s five or six months until the first game, but I have a lot to work on. I just want to make sure I make the right reads and make the right plays. There was one time today where I had the chance to run it, and I tried to throw it instead. It is all just a learning experience. “

Boyd had the first team all to himself on Sunday while starter Kyle Parker was in Columbia with the Clemson baseball team, and he said he tried to take full advantage of the extra work.

“It was definitely a good experience for me,” he said. “I tried to show as much leadership as I could, and yesterday was just good for me. I know that I have more opportunities like that coming, and I want to be like that every time I get the chance. I just want to learn everything I can.”

He also said he certainly didn’t mind the fact the Parker was back on Monday, and intends to make the most of the competitive situation.

“I love it when he is out here,” he said. “Competition makes you better. You want to play and compete against the best, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Nobody ever gave me anything growing up, so this is normal for me.”

And how would he feel if the season starts and he was still second team?

“I never want to settle for the less than the best,” Boyd said. “But if that happens, then I am just going to work hard and be ready to take over in case something happens to him. But right now, my mindset is that I am trying to be the starter, and I am just working hard every day trying to get to that point.”

Boyd said that just being healthy makes this spring different from last fall, when was he trying to battle through rehab, a freshman year in college, and trying to run the scout team.

"It hurt a lot of times last year when I used to plant and throw," he said. "Now I just feel how I used to feel. It's a great feeling. It sucks when you're hurting and everything. So it's fun right now."

Boyd told reporters that the Clemson coaches threw 16 new blitzes at him on Monday, and he said right now he is just trying to feel his way along.

"I'm trying to figure out how to do it in certain situations," he said. "I'll call to the right side, but it might be the wrong term. Really, it's just a lot of footwork things, timing. You've got certain ways you read it, and then you've got to get the ball out quick. I'm really trying to speed up my decision-making based off the reads and everything. It's coming along. It's better than yesterday, and I'm going to try to have it better for Wednesday."

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