|Chuck Burton / Associated Press|
|All eyes are on Clemson QB Tajh Boyd as he looks to follow up a sterling junior season.|
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Clemson senior QB Tajh Boyd was the center of attention Sunday at the 2013 ACC Football Kickoff media event.
He was surrounded by reporters with tape recorders, microphones, cameras and video recorders. And he reveled in it.
"I love it," he said of the attention he was getting.
Hopefully, he will get used to it. Boyd will be in the spotlight all season as the nation's No. 1 senior quarterback and a likely top-five Heisman contender.
Boyd was the ACC player of the year and a first-team All-American in some circles last season. He guided Clemson to an 11-2 mark, including an upset of LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. He threw for 3,896 yards and 36 TDs, and also ran for 514 yards and 10 more scores. Boyd ranked first nationally with 48 completions of at least 25 yards and fourth with 16 completions of at least 40 yards. He led the nation by averaging 13.6 yards per completion.
While Boyd lacks ideal height (he is 6-foot-1), he is athletic, physical and possesses a strong arm. In May, NFL.com draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah had this to say about Boyd:
Tajh Boyd reminds me of Russell Wilson for these 3 reasons: easy thrower, escapability and toughness.â Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) May 22, 2013
Boyd has thrown for 7,724 yards and 69 TDs and completed 63.2 percent of his passes in two seasons playing for coordinator Chad Morris, who oversees a fast-paced spread attack. Boyd completed 67.2 percent of his attempts last season as he grew more comfortable in the offense.
One issue has been his propensity for interceptions. He threw 13 last season and has thrown 28 in his career. To that end, he said he worked in the offseason on tweaking his footwork and his mechanics. Little stuff becomes big stuff if you don't correct it, he said.
Boyd has thrown 73 career TD passes and needs 23 more to break Philip Rivers' ACC record (set 2000-03). Boyd was the centerpiece of coach Dabo Swinney's first recruiting class at the school in 2009. Boyd, who is from Hampton, Va., chose the Tigers over Ohio State and Oregon.
"I still have the piece of [news]paper in my office that says 'Power of the Pen,'" Swinney said, referencing a story that detailed Boyd signing with the Tigers.
Swinney said all the individual accolades are nice but he is confident Boyd is focused on winning games.
"All the individual stuff -- it's all based on past performances," Swinney said. "He hasn't thrown a pass this year. ... He has to stay focused on the right things."
If he does that, chances are the spotlight will continue to burn bright.