CLEMSON – The different feel around camp, Tajh Boyd, predictably, is a part of that.
“Him coming back was amazing for our team,” Clemson DT Josh Watson said. “Just him as a leader. His presence, he makes the whole team come together as one. That’s huge that he selflessly came back.”
Came back being in reference to a decision the Tigers’ QB wrestled with – between going pro and returning to close out an accolade-filled Clemson career, the Hampton, Va. native shrugged off the praise Friday.
“I don’t even look at it like that,” he said. “It’s a blessing and an honor to go out there and play with these guys. The same guys that I have sweat with and cried with. Just going out there and giving everything we’ve got.
“We know that if we want to be great it’s a lifestyle.”
That lifestyle over the summer eased the transition period into practice.
Georgia on Clemson's mind
“We had a great summer leading into it. Our offense came in tune and our defense came in tune,” Boyd said. “I’m very encouraged by what I saw from the defensive side of the team. Those guys are going out there and competing as hard as they can.
“There’s going to be competition throughout the whole team and it’s good to see guys giving all that they had. This is just the first practice, but I guarantee these guys are going to work hard every practice.”
Boyd said he relished the chance to even lead in warmups here in his final go-round.
His head coach knows the experience he brings is invaluable.
“Tajh is the leader of the team. He really is,” Dabo Swinney said. “He’s grown well beyond the leader of the offense. It was my first day having a third-year starting quarterback. It was fun to have a guy out there that gets it and takes great pride in his performance. Takes great pride in his preparation and really has a great grasp of what we’re doing.
“He’s one of those guys that hopefully will make everyone around him better and that’s what the great ones do. He certainly has done a great job of that for us.”