By Chandler Carver.
Quarterback Tajh Boyd understands that hard work is the only way to achieve results during spring practice.
“We have to keep working and keep grinding,” Boyd said this week after a Tigers’ scrimmage. “We also have to study more. We have to have a more complete focus. I’m excited for this season. I’m excited to see where we can go.”
Boyd says that he, like the rest of the offense, has been impressed with the improvement and maturity of the offensive line throughout the spring.
“The offensive line has a lot of young guys, but they’re starting to come together and mature a little bit,” he said. “From an athletic and physicality standpoint, we have the potential to be exceptional. We have to keep encouraging them and I can see them growing every day.”
Boyd is also pleased with Clemson’s improvement in short-yardage situations, something that plagued the Tigers much of last season.
“Every time we got in a short-yardage situation today, whether third and three or goal line, we scored,” said Boyd. “That was awesome. Last week, the coaches called us out and the guys just fought back from it. We got the mindset that this isn’t how it’s going to be this year, and we fought today. That’s all you can ask for.”
The receiver that has impressed Boyd the most throughout this spring is junior DeAndre “Nuk” Hopkins.
“Nuk is a lot more focused and committed this spring,” he said. “Talent-wise, he’s fine. He can make any play. He’s the dependable guy that you need on your team. Sometimes we don’t even have to do hand signals for him to know that I’m coming to him. It’s exciting working with him.”
Boyd also understands how important it is to have a whole season of a new offense under your belt when you start spring practice.
“I’m much more confident this spring than I was this time last year,” said Boyd. “Coach Morris has given me a lot more opportunities to go out and make plays. The one thing they’re looking for is for me to step up and lead. I’m putting myself in the best place I can to lead, and hopefully the guys respond to me.”