GREENSBORO, N.C. — There were more than a few smiles earlier this year when quarterback Tajh Boyd announced that he would be returning for his senior season at Clemson.
For Boyd, a first-team All-American and the ACC Player of the Year, the timing was right to go. After winning an ACC championship as a sophomore in 2011, Boyd led Clemson to its second consecutive double-digit winning season. Then, in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, he guided his team down the field and put Clemson into position to kick a winning field goal on the last play.
“I’ll never forget it,” Boyd said Sunday as the ACC’s annual Media Days began. Boyd would later confess that at the time he thought it would be his last college game.
Those who have followed Boyd closely thought he was a lock for no worse than a second-round pick, given the NFL’s recent embrace of multi-dimensional quarterbacks. But he received a mid-round grade and, ultimately, Boyd decided to come back to school.
“There was an opportunity at Clemson to win another championship and so I wanted to try,” Said Boyd, who threw for 3,896 yards and 36 touchdowns last season as Clemson led the ACC in scoring (41 points per game). “It was the best decision for me.”
Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris certainly was glad Boyd was returning. But in their first meeting after the decision, Morris decided to pull no punches.
“I gave it to him pretty straight,” said Morris, set to begin his third season at Clemson. “I told him that if he wanted to be a first-round draft choice and an All-American he was going to have to let me coach him like one. This was going to be his last shot and he was going to have to give me more.”
Boyd comes from the Tidewater section of Virginia, which seems to produce an abundance of great football players. He is very likeable and genuinely cares about his teammates. He is not a selfish player.
But Morris believes Boyd could be more mentally tough and…