Tajh Boyd was a perfect, prototypical quarterback to execute Chad Morris’ high flying, no huddle, hyper tempo offense.
Boyd was fast on his feet, a great dual threat, and possibly the be most frenetic quarterback I’ve ever seen. Together, he and Morris, along with a talented supporting class, made Clemson a force to be reckoned with.
In our household, Boyd was called ‘The Flash,’ due to his nimble footwork. He could most always create a play where none existed. When speaking of Boyd, it’s his body of work that makes him one of the best to ever wear the Paw. He was both the 2012 ACC Offensive Player of the year and the ACC Player of the year, both deserved honors.
Here are several illustrious games in his stellar career that stand out for me.
The 2011 season opener in Death Valley against defending national champion, Auburn. Boyd, DeAndre ‘Nuk’ Hopkins and Sammy Watkins stopped the other Tigers dead in their tracks. Great game.
Then, the 2011 Maryland game, was a Boyd driven thing of beauty. No thanks to former defensive coordinator Kevin Steele’s defense, they rallied from an 18 point deficit to take the win 56-45, on the road.
Then, the 2012 Chick-Fil-A Bowl against LSU made Boyd a legend in Clemson Football history. With time running out, Boyd and Hopkins connected for what became a sentinel moment for the Tigers simply known as ‘4th and 16.’ Clemson went on to win on a 39 yard field goal by Chandler Cantanzaro. Wow! What a finish.
Finally, in the 2014 Orange Bowl against THE Ohio State Buckeyes, Boyd masterfully orchestrated a fitting goodbye for himslef. He literally willed the Tigers to win that night and they did, defeating the Buckeyes 40-35.
The game was highlighted by the relentless defense that punished Buckeyes’ quarterback, Braxton Miller. In an unbelievable second half hit by another great former great, linebacker Spencer Shuey, Miller was rendered shellshocked.
Boyd would go on to be a sixth round pick of the New York Jets but failed to make the final preseason cut. He was released on August 20, 2014.
His next stop, with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Boyd signed a one year contract but was not resigned after the season. After an unsuccessful stint in the Canadian Football League, Boyd retired in 2016.
Never one to just let troubles absorb him into an unremarkable life, he came back home to the place where everyone knows your name. He is a licensed realtor and was the sales manager for Lakeside Lodge overlooking Lake Hartwell.
Then, in 2021, Dabo Swinney invited Boyd to join his staff as an offensive analyst, working with the quarterbacks, a job he is imminently qualified.
One interesting tidbit, before Boyd accepted the position on the football staff, he turned down an offer to be on the reality TV show, The Bachelorette. Boyd likely knew, for his future long term success, Clemson was the place he needed to be.
Having met him several times, despite his on the field frenetic nature, he is a very thoughtful, deliberate, easy going man. I know his mother, Carla Boyd, also known as Mama Boyd, is extremely proud of her son and she’s not alone.
Tajh Boyd is loved and remembered fondly by the fan base. While he led Clemson to the edge of CFB’s elite status, he is also recognized and respected as the one that led the Tigers, his Tigers, to the gates of the promised land.
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