Tajh Boyd: The Phrase “Pulling A Clemson” Is Disapointing But We Handle It In Stride

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(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

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Mac Attack: 10/09/13:  Clemson QB Tajh Boyd joined Mac to discuss the Tigers magical start to the season, the expectations the rest of the way, Chad Morris being a mad scientist, and much more.

Yeah it’s a little disappointing honestly because I think we perform consistent enough and at a high level enough to squash stuff like that. I think at the end of the day you have to handle that question in stride. We hear that all the time. We want to go out and we want to perform at a high level and perform at a standard every time we step out on that field. So regardless of who we’re playing against, whether it’s a D1-AA team, no disrespect to those guys, or a top five team. We want to go out and perform to our capabilities. I think we’ve been doing a great job of that this season and we’ve just got to keep on improving.

Alright Tajh. I can’t help myself, I’m in the media, I’m a fan of football and I can’t wait for a week and a half away Florida State and Clemson going head to head. One of the biggest ACC games in years. I know you’ve got Boston College this week; do you start talking about this Florida State game and looking ahead? You’ve got to be tempted to do so.

Not necessarily and I don’t have the time to think about it. I’m usually up here watching the film with the coaches and things of that nature so all my time is spent on getting prepared for BC. I know Florida State has an off week so I’m sure they’re thinking about it, but for right now, Florida State will get here when they get here. But again, every time we step out on that field, it’s a dangerous team that you’re going to play against. And we feel like we’re going to get everybody’s best game so it’s important for us to make sure that we’re on our game and I think coach (blank) has developed a great mindset for this program, a mindset for this team, and we just try to perform at a high level at all times. This week is important itself, in the preparation we have for Boston College. When Florida State comes in, we’re going to be totally dialed in on that. But until then, we’re just worried about Boston College.

We’re talking with Clemson QB Tajh Boyd. One last thing I’ll say about Florida State, have you had a chance to watch the freshman Jameis Winston? It’s been amazing to see what he’s doing in his first few starts. He looks like he’s been at it a while.
That’s kind of the rarity of it, because he is such a young player. But the way he carries himself, the way he carries his team and his demeanor out there, it looks like he’s been playing for a long time. I haven’t really gotten a chance to watch a full game, but I’ve seen his highlights and everything that I’ve seen has been impressive so far. It’s going to be fun when we get him in here, though.

Everybody knows about Dabo, the emotion, the fire also his background and what he’s been through in his life. People don’t know about Chad Morris, your offensive coordinator. We know he’s been doing a great job, going to get a head coaching job someday. He’s kind of the man behind the curtain though. I kind of picture him as a mad scientist in some sort of lab just cooking up plays and stuff. What is Chad Morris like?
He’s really a passionate guy. Very, very critical about his work and his details and preparing us, especially in our quarterbacks unit. I’ve learned a lot from him. He’s definitely one of my top two coaches that I’ve ever played for. Because he is a fun guy, he is like that mad scientist. I don’t even think he sleeps sometimes, we call him a vampire. I think he averages four-and-a-half, five hours of sleep at the most, because he’s always thinking of drawing up some plays. It’s been good, just getting a chance to grow with him and his impact that he’s had on Clemson as well. He’s going to be a great head coach wherever he ends up at one day. He’s just a fun loving guy at the same time. A lot of people don’t really get that sense because you see him with the visor on the sideline. But once you get a chance to sit down and talk with him, he’s just a passionate and fun guy.

Now something else that doesn’t get talked a lot about when people discuss Clemson football is your defense. But the way Beasley and those guys are getting after it up front, just the way that they’re playing so far, I think that this is probably the best defense that you’ve had since you’ve been there at Clemson, Tajh. How important are these guys to your good start?
Definitely the best D I’ve been a part of since ’09. You can just see these guys growing; you can see their maturation process. How they’ve grown with coach Venables and just the camaraderie they have with one another out on that field. You have guys like Beasley – eight sacks in five games, that’s ridiculous. These guys are just performing at a high level. As an offensive unit, our goal is to score every time we get the ball, but we know those guys are going to go out there and do their jobs. So the confidence works both ways, and that’s why I think we’re an elite team right now, because we do have that relationship where we can depend on one another.

Beasley has six more sacks than “that guy across the state”, and he also actually plays in the games, right?
(Laughs) Yeah, for sure.

I didn’t know if you were going to bite on that one, Tajh. After all, the guy did tell you that you and all the other quarterbacks should be scared of him.
Yeah, you know, it is what it is. I don’t really do too much talking. But we’ll see those guys sooner than later.

After the first game, you were talking about just how emotional it is to run down the hill, touch Howard’s Rock. During the offseason, we found out that someone damaged Howard’s Rock. Did that tick you off?
It was disappointing for sure, just because of the nature of it. The tradition, the pageantry of it. I think it’s the best thing in college football. For someone to mess with it, just to do anything, I don’t care if they chipped a little of it – it’s still significant, its our house rock. I was very disappointed when I heard about it. I didn’t really have any speculation as to who did it. As you continue to grow with Clemson tradition and history, you start to take everything that Clemson has to offer and you take pride in it. That’s just another thing that we take pride in around here, and we were disappointed to hear about that.

Other traditions you’ve seen as a player on the road or as a fan on the road that you admire?
Notre Dame’s sign where they tap the Irish is always good. I like when Virginia Tech touches the rock out of their tunnel. After the Southern Cal games, when those guys take the sword and put up the Fight Trojans sign, all that stuff is pretty cool. But none of them have an entrance, you know? More or less, just something that they do. But our entrance is cool, you know? They’ve got the balloons, they’ve got the fireworks setting off. It just looks so cool at night, and that’s what I enjoy about it. I don’t ever get to see the fireworks or something, because usually for the night game I’m a captain or I’m at the back of the line so I haven’t really caught it, but the pictures look cool.

It’s been over 30 years since Clemson has won that National Title. Danny Ford’s talked about it daily. In the state, by Clemson nation he is revered. You guys have a chance if you can pull off this thing and keep winning to be remembered like that. Is that a cool feeling, or does that lead to a lot of pressure on you guys?

I feel like it’s something that we have our eyes on, don’t get me wrong, but I feel like there’s a process for it. That’s why it’s so important to take it one game at a time, so we do have the opportunity to fulfill what we want to. Because when you do start to look ahead, it’s that one game, that one slip up, that ruins your whole dream. For us, it’s important to embrace every time we step on that field, every opportunity. Essentially I have four home games left until the end of my career here. So I try to embrace it every time I step on that field – especially at home. We want to play in the national game; we want to win the national championship game. We have to work at a high level; we have to perform at a high level. And practice is important every day, so when we do step on that game field it’ll be easier. It’s just a process for us right now.

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