Last week at George Whitfield’s quarterback camp, Tajh Boyd was, in his words, the “older figure.”
Boyd, alongside projected starters from BCS programs coast-to-coast and teammate Chad Kelly, spent his time off from Clemson spring practice in San Diego, Calif., and though some fun was mixed in – it was mostly business.
“I didn’t want to go through spring break just coasting,” the fifth-year senior said. “I don’t think there’s time to coast. In seven months, this season is over.”
In his second time around at the camp, Boyd says he learned as much from the young guns, as they did from him.
“It kinda lets you know where your game is at and where it has to improve at,” he said. “I’m learning stuff from those guys. To the point where even when I was out there. I didn’t want to waste a day.”
The reigning ACC player of the year said the week – made up of two workouts a day over five days – was about fine-tuning his game, in terms of both his arm and feet.
Cutting down turnovers, defensive challenge
“I throw a pretty good, fast ball,” said Boyd, “but it can come out that much more powerful if I incorporate some of the other parts of my body. Same way with the footwork – just cleaning it up.”
The latter also holds the key to cutting down on interceptions, which were 13 too many last year in his estimation.
“Footwork leads to accuracy which in turn leads to turnovers and things of that nature,” Boyd said. “I need to be as accurate as I can in those situations.”
But what of his redshirt freshman teammate Kelly’s week in SoCal?
“When he was out there, he was getting some really good work in,” Boyd said. “Really trying to improve his game as well and try to incorporate (what he’s learned).
“When we go out there, it’s not all about going to train with this guy or that guy – it’s about trying to improve your game.”
Kelly returns to practice this week in the middle of a well-publicized backup quarterback race with junior Cole Stoudt.
Boyd says last week has only made him more excited about playing with the two, and practicing and studying as a quarterback unit is a key to the season.
“It’s been good working with Chad in general throughout the spring and it will be good throughout the summer,” said Boyd. “He’s one of those guys when gets on the field he wants to get in as much as he can. Always looking to improve and always looking to get better, and it’s the same with Cole.
“The best part of that is going into that meeting room, and I can get advice from those guys as well when I’m coming off the field. If I make an errant throw or the ball sails, I got Cole or Chad kinda understanding what I need to do out there as well.
“If we want to be as successful as we can, it needs to be a joint effort. There’s not one particular guy who can feel like they’ve arrived. We just can’t have that. This team will falter if that happens. We all have an importance and are accountable to one another.”