Q&A: Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd

Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd had a pretty stellar week, becoming an AFCA All-American, and winning ACC Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year. He spoke with reporters on a conference call earlier this week, and talked about his awards and the matchup between Florida State and Georgia Tech in the ACC title game Saturday.

Here is a little of what he had to say.

What was your reaction to finding out you got on the AFCA All-American team, with perhaps others believing Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M or Collin Klein of Kansas State would be the favorites?

TB: It was just numb, an exciting moment, just knowing how highly people think about you, coaches think about you. It’s exciting, it’s an extra motivating factor especially heading into bowl season. You want to live up to those things. It’s been a pretty good week so far, and it doesn’t necessarily take away the feeling you get from the game standpoint, but it’s definitely some good news to have. It’s been a fun week.

Did you think you would have a shot at ACC Player of the Year?

TB: I thought I would have a pretty good chance, and I’m just excited to hear about it, just excited to get the chance to represent Clemson in a great way. As a program, we’re excited to hear that we had six guys on the first team. It’s capped off the season pretty nicely. It’s just exciting news.

Will you submit your paperwork to the NFL or are you fully committed to coming back?

TB: I’m going to submit my paperwork and just consider it. It’s not one of those deals where I made a decision yet. Whenever you get the paperwork back, you sit down with the coaches, and you sit down with your parents and talk about it and make sure I make the best decision possible.

Is there a round you have in mind for you to decide to leave for the NFL?

TB: That’s one of those deals where it will definitely weigh heavily. Either way, submitting the paperwork is good so you know where you stand in the eyes of those coaches over there, and if you decide to come back, it lets you know what you need to work on. It’s just great to have an opportunity in general as well. I haven’t really sat down and thought about certain rounds or anything of that nature.

You played against Georgia Tech and Florida State. Give us your quick scouting report for the ACC title game.

TB: I think they’re both really competitive teams. I saw Georgia Tech get a chance to potentially get Orwin Smith back. I think that would be great for those guys. He’s been a veteran player, he’s been an experienced player, and I’ve seen that Florida State lost Tank (Carradine) for the rest of the season with a torn ACL, very unfortunate situation. The game to me just looking at it from the outside in, it’s an intriguing game because I think when you’re playing a team like Georgia Tech, if you don’t play them a lot, it’s hard to predict what type of team they are, what they do. Especially if you don’t play them on a yearly basis. Their system is pretty complex, and then you see them put up some crazy numbers, 68 points scored on North Carolina, so you know the offense can be explosive. But Florida State has a style of defense, again always has one of the top defenses in the country. It will be interested to see. Some people think the game is going to be a runaway, but I think it’s going to be a pretty close game.

Do you want to make a prediction?

TB: 21-14 Florida State.

Georgia Tech has struggled on defense this year, what were your impressions of them?

TB: Very passionate group. I don’t even know if they felt like they had a chance of making it to the game at one point in the season, but when you get in a game like that, when we played in the ACC championship last year, there’s a lot at stake. Your whole mind-frame changes. You can throw a lot of things out the door. It’s going to be interesting. Florida State has a lot of speed but Georgia Tech is fundamentally sound out there. I’m interested to see both sides of the matchup, Georgia Tech’s offense against the defense and just seeing Florida State rebound from the game last week as well.

From a player’s perspective, how tough is it to rebound from a tough loss to an in-state rival, the way Florida State and Georgia Tech have to do in this game?

TB: The seniors or the veteran guys on that team on both squads are going to have to sit down and make sure they re-evaluate. I know Georgia Tech, that loss kind of stung a little bit but it’s one of those deals where you’ve got to erase that memory. They have the national spotlight, go out there and put the best game they can put together and execute their game plan. Two totally different style teams, where Georgia Tech is kind of grind it out and Florida State is similar with the tempo we have, with the type of players and the speed. The coaches and players are going to have to do a great job of making sure everybody is focused on what they need to focus on and not worry about last week.