Clemson's Tajh Boyd: Best ACC Quarterback?
Georgia Tech's Tevin Washington and Wake Forest's Tanner Price also have 3-0 teams in ACC play.
By: Patrick Snow | 10/14/11, 1:48 PM EDT
It’s been an interesting year for ACC quarterbacks. We have witnessed breakout seasons for Clemson’s Tajh Boyd, Wake Forest’s Tanner Price and Georgia Tech’s Tevin Washington, and it’s no coincidence that those teams are all 3-0 in league play. Florida State’s EJ Manuel has battled injuries but still has a chance to be a top signal caller. North Carolina’s Bryn Renner has the league’s top QB rating, but he has also thrown six interceptions. Miami’s Jacory Harris and Duke’s Sean Renfree have had solid seasons so far, and it may surprise many that NC State’s Mike Glennon leads the ACC in touchdown passes with 16. Virginia Tech’s Logan Thomas has been inconsistent but showed his potential against Miami last week, while the sophomore expectations for Maryland’s Danny O’Brien have faded quickly with a new coaching staff and offense.
Who is the best quarterback in the ACC?
Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)
Entering the season, the battle to be the ACC’s No. 1 quarterback at the end of the year appeared to be between Florida State’s EJ Manuel and Maryland’s Danny O’Brien. After six weeks, it’s probably safe to say that neither player will make first-team All-ACC. I’d have to say Clemson’s Tajh Boyd has been the best quarterback in the ACC. Boyd has been a quick study in new coordinator Chad Morris’ offense, and leads the ACC with 310 yards a game. The sophomore has also delivered in Clemson’s toughest games this year, torching Florida State for 344 yards and three touchdowns and 386 yards and four scores against Auburn. Boyd has also thrown only two picks this year. With Clemson’s new up-tempo offense hitting on all cylinders, expect Boyd to continue posting big numbers, while leading the Tigers to an ACC Atlantic title.
Mitch Light (@AthlonMitch)
This is a tough question. Clemson’s Tajh Boyd and Wake Forest’s Tanner Price are both having very productive seasons throwing the ball for two teams that are playing very well, but Georgia Tech’s Tevin Washington is having the best season for a quarterback — based on what he is asked to do for his team’s offense. Washington only ranks 11th in the league in yards per game with 175.3, but he has been unbelievably efficient throwing the ball out of the Yellow Jackets’ option attack. He is averaging 14.4 yards per attempt (which would lead the nation by a wide margin if he had enough attempts to qualify) and has a sparkling TD-to-INT ratio of 10-to-2. And as expected, he is running the ball well, averaging over 50 yards per game for team that has yet to lose a game. If you had to pick a quarterback in the ACC to run your team, Washington would not be high on the list — unless, of course, you run the option — but he is clearly doing a great job at the quarterback position for his team.
Jim Young (ACCSports.com, @ACCSports)
To me this a two-quarterback debate between Clemson's Tajh Boyd and Wake Forest's Tanner Price. The numbers — Boyd (1,742 yards, 15 TDs and two INTs in six games); Price (1,352 yards, 10 TDs and two INTs in five games) — are incredibly close. They've both done it against top competition. I'll give the slight edge to Tanner Price of the Demon Deacons because his road statistics are better than Boyd's and because he throws such an accurate deep ball.
Braden Gall (@AthlonBraden)
Florida State's E.J. Manuel is probably the best prospect in the ACC and Logan Thomas is the best athlete with arguably the most upside. But I just can't find a reason why Clemson's Tajh Boyd isn't the best quarterback in the ACC. He leads the league in yards (1,742) by almost 300 yards, he leads the league in touchdown responsible for (18), is tied for fewest interceptions by a starter (2) and has his team unbeaten and in the national championship picture. Tanner Price, Sean Renfree, Bryn Renner and Mike Glennon all have bright futures and are talented signal callers, but no one has played better in bigger spots than Boyd.
Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
This is an interesting question, but I will give the slight edge to Georgia Tech’s Tevin Washington over Wake Forest’s Tanner Price and Clemson’s Tajh Boyd. The quarterback is asked to do so much in Paul Johnson’s attack, and Washington always seems to come through for the Yellow Jackets. He has rushed for six touchdowns and passed for 10 while only throwing two interceptions. Washington’s average of 14.4 yards per pass attempt is just gaudy. Boyd has been great this season, but some of that is the spectacular play of Sammy Watkins and Chad Morris’ offense taking the league by storm. If Price had not been injured in the second half at Syracuse, the Demon Deacons would be undefeated. But right now, I’ll take Washington for leading Georgia Tech to a 6-0 record.
Russell Wilson of NC State... wait, he plays for Wisconsin now and is a Heisman Trophy candidate on a BCS national title contender. Of those still in conference, Clemson's Tajh Boyd has been the best all-around signal-caller in the ACC. The redshirt sophomore from Hampton, Va., has battled through a hip injury but still managed to throw for 1,742 yards, 15 TDs and only two INTs; scramble for 120 yards and three TDs; and lead the Tigers to a surprising 6–0 start to the season. The 6'1", 230-pounder is tough, smart, athletic and possesses an "it" factor his teammates rally around. Coach Dabo Swinney may hog the spotlight with his crazy jumping around in-game and tearing up post-game, but it is Boyd who is the emotional leader of Clemson — and the best quarterback in the ACC.
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