Clemson Football: Is Tajh Boyd the Best Quarterback in Clemson Tiger History?

Colby Lanham@Colby1226Correspondent IJune 16, 2013

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 31:  Tajh Boyd #10 of the Clemson Tigers points to the LSU Tigers defense during the 2012 Chick-fil-A Bowl at Georgia Dome on December 31, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

In 2009, Tajh Boyd was a late addition to Dabo Swinney's first recruiting class, the recruiting class widely known as Dabo's "Dandy Dozen."

Since he first started in 2011, he has helped Swinney change the culture of Clemson football back to that of a prominent power in both the ACC and college football. 

In two years as the starter, Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd has taken the helm of the Clemson offense and has made it into arguably the best offense in college football.

He helped guide the Tigers to an ACC Championship in 2011 and a huge win over a major football program, defeating LSU in the 2013 Chick-Fil-A Bowl.

During the LSU game he exhibited the kind of mental toughness that Clemson has lacked in its last few quarterbacks. His performance put him into the national spotlight and put him on the map among the best quarterbacks in college football.

In his Clemson career, Boyd has thrown for 8,053 yards, 73 touchdowns and 28 interceptions while rushing for 765 yards and 16 touchdowns. In 2012, Boyd was named ACC Player of The Year, first-team All-ACC, Chick-fil-A Bowl MVP and even made headlines after being named a first-team All-American, thanks to the American Football Coaches Association. 

All of Boyd's accomplishments in his first two seasons beg the following question: Is Boyd the greatest quarterback in Clemson history?

He certainly ranks among the best quarterbacks Clemson has had in the modern era.

But does this place him past the likes of past Tiger quarterbacks like Steve Fuller, Homer Jordan, Woodrow Dantzler and Charlie Whitehurst?

One thing Boyd does have that most of these Clemson quarterbacks don't is an ACC Championship.

He has rewritten the record books in his first two years and has the chance to set a completely different standard for future Clemson quarterbacks.

Going into his senior season, he holds 39 school records with the chance to break even more. He is second in Tiger history in passing attempts behind only Whitehurst, and needs only 379 more completions to place himself atop the list.

Boyd also requires only 1,612 yards to break Whitehurst's other record: passing yards.

But it's not just Boyd's numbers that have placed into the greatest quarterback conversation, it is his toughness, both physically and mentally.

While quarterbacks like Cullen Harper and Kyle Parker showed promise early in their respective careers, they ultimately failed to show up in big games. Boyd has become the unquestioned leader of the offense and the team as a whole.

His composure and maturity both on and off the field only bolster his impressive credentials. 

In terms of his skill set, Boyd has emerged as one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in college football. Along with his running ability, he has shown the ability to stand his ground in the pocket in the face of consistent pressure. While he doesn't quite have the arm of a Charlie Whitehurst (few do and few ever will), he still has the arm strength to make throws from anywhere on the field.

What's more, Boyd's ability to run the zone read offense and operate out of the pistol formation has only accelerated the quarterback's growth and made him into an even more dynamic weapon in an ever-evolving game.

Boyd has accomplished more than most and will no doubt be destined for the Clemson Hall of Fame sometime down the road.

The biggest thing missing off of Boyd's resume will be a BCS bowl win, National Championship or the like.

With or without a BCS Bowl win, Boyd will remain one of the best to ever play the quarterback position in Death Valley. The debate will continue to be whether he is indeed "the best" to play the position at Clemson.

So far, the signs suggest that he might indeed be the greatest quarterback in the history of Clemson football.


    Swinney Not Worried Despite Several QB Transfers

    Clemson Football logo
    Clemson Football

    Swinney Not Worried Despite Several QB Transfers

    via NCAA College Football

    Five Freshmen Who Could Make an Instant Impact

    College Football logo
    College Football

    Five Freshmen Who Could Make an Instant Impact

    Auburn Lands 2019 4-Star ATH Jashawn Sheffield

    College Football logo
    College Football

    Auburn Lands 2019 4-Star ATH Jashawn Sheffield

    SDS Staff
    via Saturday Down South

    Florida State Lands 2019 4-Star DE Curtis Fann

    College Football logo
    College Football

    Florida State Lands 2019 4-Star DE Curtis Fann

    Tallahassee Democrat
    via Tallahassee Democrat