Tajh Boyd has had a fantastic junior season as starting quarterback for the Clemson Tigers. Awaiting another bowl bid, Boyd has thrown for 3,550 yards and 34 touchdowns in 2012, and ranks among the best in the country in multiple categories.
Throughout the 2012 college football season, Boyd is fourth in overall quarterback rating with a score of 168.5, coming in behind only Aaron Murray of the Georgia Bulldogs, A.J. McCarron of the Alabama Crimson Tide and David Fales of the San Jose State Spartans. Boyd also ranks 12th in overall passing yards, sixth in passing touchdowns and 18th in the country in completion percentage.
So why is it that he may be still better off returning for his senior season at Clemson than entering the 2013 NFL Draft a year earlier?
Well, there are two sides to the argument. It certainly worked for Andrew Luck. But the same cannot be said for Matt Barkley, not yet at least. With pros and cons to each side, Boyd will face a difficult decision.
“That is one of those deals where I am going to submit my paperwork and consider it,” Boyd told David Hood of TigerNet.com. “I haven’t made a decision yet, but when I get my paperwork back I will sit down with my coaches and parents and those closest to me and talk about it and make the best decision possible. But there is still no decision yet.”
Boyd must consider quite a few things while making his decision. First, if he returns to Clemson for his senior season, it could be a special year for the Tigers. They would have one of the most explosive offenses in the country, especially depending on what other players return for one more season. Boyd may see if he can get teh band back together for more run, and that could go a long ways in helping him make a difficult decision.
He also needs to look at the scouting reports. According to NFL Draft guru from ESPN, Mel Kiper Jr., Boyd is not even in his top five quarterbacks this season. And I don’t mean overall. I just mean as juniors. Kiper has McCarron, Logan Thomas (Virginia Tech Hokies), Tyler Bray (Tennessee Volunteers), Derek Carr (Fresno State Bulldogs) and Bryn Renner (North Carolina Tar Heels) all ranked ahead of Boyd. The list does not go past the top five, so I cannot say exactly where Boyd would rank on Kiper’s board as a junior, but this is not the bets sign for the Tigers’ signal caller.
I am not one to say that returning to college for your senior season never hurts, because it can. Players can get hurt or suffer a setback or regress in their progression while their team struggles. We see it happen quite often. If that happens to Boyd, then he will have been better off if he declares himself eligible for the 2013 NFL Draft.
Then again, I do happen to agree that while players such as Luck and Barkley were ready for the NFL after their junior seasons, Boyd would be best served returning for one final year and prove that he is worthy of being one of the first five quarterbacks selected. This is a case where returning may benefit a future NFL quarterback.
I know it would benefit the Clemson Tigers in 2013 to have Boyd back under center for one more season.