Before Deshaun Watson and Trevor Lawrence led Clemson to national championships, there was first Tajh Boyd.
Boyd was the catalyst of it all for the Tigers. He was Dabo Swinney’s first big-time recruit as Clemson’s head coach. The Virginia native was the headliner in Swinney’s first recruiting class at Clemson, affectionately known as the “Dandy Dozen.”
Boyd took over as Clemson’s starting quarterback in 2011, and in his first year as a starter he led the program to its first ACC Championship in 20 years. The 2011 team, with Boyd at the helm, was the first of the Tigers’ nine straight 10-win seasons, which currently is the second longest active streak in the country.
Boyd’s accolades are already known by every Clemson fan, but they are worth repeating. From 2011-’13 he guided the Tigers to a 32-8 record, which included wins over LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl in 2012 and a win over Ohio State in the 2014 Orange Bowl. The 32 wins are tied with Rodney Williams and Watson as the most in school history for a starting quarterback.
Boyd also won ACC Player of the Year honors in 2012 and was a First-Team All-American as well that season. He also led Clemson to its first ACC Championship in 20 years when he and the Tigers beat then No. 3 Virginia Tech, 38-10, in the 2011 ACC Championship Game. Boyd was named as the game’s Most Valuable Player.
The quarterback finished his career at Clemson as its all-time leader in touchdown passes with 107. The 133 touchdowns he accounted for (26 rushing touchdowns) is still an ACC record for a career.
Boyd also holds Clemson’s career marks in passing attempts (1,402), completions (901), yards (11,904), 200-yard games (35), 300-yard games and consecutive games as the starter (40). He also went 107 pass attempts without an interception, which was a Clemson record as well at one point. He also holds the Clemson single-game and ACC record for total touchdowns in a game with 8.
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