Clemson junior quarterback Tajh Boyd announced Wednesday that he will return to school for his senior season, bypassing the NFL for the chance to possibly play for a national title.
“I've enjoyed my time here,” Boyd said. “I've been part of a great family and learned so much as a person and a player, and I don't think I'm ready to give that up yet.”
Boyd had a productive 2012 season, leading Clemson to 11 wins, including a comeback victory against LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. He finished his junior year with 46 total touchdowns (36 passing, 10 rushing) and completed 67.2% of his passes for 3,896 yards, adding 514 yards on the ground.
Boyd was named the ACC Offensive Player of the Year and would have been an early round draft pick had he decided to enter the 2013 NFL Draft. However, the allure of unfinished business led Boyd to return to school.
“My main focus is trying to be the best leader possible that I can,” Boyd said. “As explosive as we've been, there's more to attain, more out there. I think that game against LSU was a big boost heading into this offseason.”
Listed at 6-1 and 225 pounds, Boyd doesn't have the size the NFL seeks in a first-round quarterback, but he really progressed as a passer in 2012, showing improved anticipation and downfield vision. His athleticism proved to be a critical asset to his development, manipulating the pocket to buy more time or pick up chunks of yardage with his legs. Boyd still has room to improve his ball placement, but overall, his accuracy showed huge improvements this past season, boosting his completion percentage 7.5% from a year ago (2011: 59.7%, 2012: 67.2%).
Boyd will have Sammy Watkins to throw to in 2013, but will he have wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins? The junior set record-bests with 82 catches for 1,405 yards and 18 touchdowns this past season and is considering entering the NFL Draft early.
The deadline for underclassmen to declare is January 15. For a full list of who is going and staying, click here.