Clemson Football: Is Tajh Boyd Worthy of Tigers All-Time Top 25 Status?

Alex SimsCorrespondent IIIJuly 20, 2012

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 04:  Tajh Boyd #10 of the Clemson Tigers celebrates with the CLemson mascot after he threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Sammy Watkins #2 in the first quarter against the West Virginia Mountaineers during the Discover Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium on January 4, 2012 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd's journey as a recruit was more tumultuous than most.

In total, Boyd committed to three different programs during the process.

While a prospect rescinding on his commitment is far from an unusual event, Boyd's recruiting process was far from average.

This is something even he would attest to by the end of the road.

"It's been a crazy recruiting trip," Boyd told Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated back in 2009. "I'm glad to have it behind me."

Early during his recruitment in March of 2008, the Hampton, Virginia native—along with Chesapeake, Virginia wide receiver Logan Heastie—each infamously donned a pair eye black stickers with the "Flying WV" logo while at a camp together, announcing their intent to attend West Virginia.

Boyd even brought a couple of his Phoebus High School teammates with him (including current WVU running back Shawne Alston) and vowed to continue to bolster the WVU class.

Seven months later, much to the dismay of the West Virginia faithful, the Mountaineer offense began to sputter, causing their quarterback of the future to reconsider his options and reopen his recruitment. 

He decommitted from WVU in October and on Nov. 1, he pledged for Tennessee.

However, just two days later, then UT head coach Phillip Fulmer was fired.

Next, new head coach Lane Kiffin decided Boyd wouldn't fit well into his pro-style offense and poor Tajh was forced to look elsewhere.

In the meantime, Boyd went about his business—and it turns out the young man can thrive amongst chaos.

Despite playing with a torn ACL, he threw for nearly 1,500 yards and 23 touchdowns in his senior campaign.  If that yardage number seems low, it is because Alston ran for 2,278 yards and scored 34 touchdowns as the duo led Phoebus to the state title.

Boyd then went on to earn MVP honors at the Army All-American Bowl after tossing three touchdowns in the game.

Meanwhile, Boyd's turbulent recruiting process continued. 

By this time he was essentially down to three schools: Ohio State, Oregon and Clemson.

At some point in the process, all three were considered to be the favorite, to the point where he might as well have committed and decomitted a few more times. 

Then, just minutes before he announced his final decision, he felt a purple and orange churning in his stomach—and it wasn't the flu.

"I was undecided up until, like, 10 minutes ago," he said as he made his announcement (via Dave Johnson of the Daily Press). "But I guess for the next four or five years of my college career, I'll be attending Clemson University. Really, you go with your gut instinct. And at the moment, I feel this is the school I should attend."

As it turns out, it's a good thing Boyd followed his gut.

He spent his freshman year as a redshirt and then spent time as a backup to two-sport star Kyle Parker at quarterback the following season.

Boyd waited his turn, and once he finally received his chance, the redshirt sophomore became a star.

In 2011, he earned first team all-Atlantic Coast Conference honors, breaking Clemson's single-season passing records with 3,828 yards and 33 touchdowns through the air.

His go-to receiver Sammy Watkins, was named ACC Rookie of the Year with 1,219 yards and 12 receiving touchdowns.

Boyd led the Tigers to their first ACC title in 20 years and their first Orange Bowl berth in 30.

He is already one of the most successful and most decorated quarterbacks in Clemson history—and he still has as many as two years to go.

If he stays for his senior campaign, he will surely shatter Charlie Whitehurst's career passing yardage record.

Boyd is already one of the top 25 best players in Clemson history and with two more years, he may go down alongside Banks McFadden, William "The Fridge" Perry, Brian Dawkins and others as one of the best to ever don the Clemson Orange and Regalia.