Tajh Boyd will return for his senior season at Clemson, ESPN's Joe Schad reports ahead of the official announcement, which is good news for a Tigers squad that finished 2012 on a high note by defeating the LSU Tigers in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl.
Boyd and Clemson will face a second-straight top SEC team to kick off the 2013 schedule. Clemson welcomes Georgia into Memorial Stadium in Week 1 of next season, and both teams could very well enter the year in the Top 10. Each will have its star quarterbacks intact, and it will give Boyd and his teammates an opportunity to show just how good they can be right out of the gate.
The Tigers return plenty of offense to assist Boyd as he looks to make a mark during his senior year. Potentially both top wideouts, DeAndre Hopkins and Sammy Watkins, as well as four of the five offensive lineman will be back. Clemson will have to look for a replacement at running back, as Andre Ellington will be graduating.
The Georgia game, coupled with the annual rivalry game with South Carolina to end the year, means that Clemson may have two highly-ranked teams in its non-conference slate. That will make it tough for the Tigers to match the success they've had in the previous two years with Boyd at quarterback.
The tilt with Florida State may once again decide which school will reach the ACC title game. The winner of that game has went on to grab the Atlantic Division the last three years, with the home team taking 11 of the previous 13 matchups. Good news for Boyd and Clemson is that the Seminoles will be visiting in 2013.
So if Boyd maintains his high level of performance amid his tough schedule in 2013, where will he stand in the 2014 draft? Next year's quarterback class is SEC-heavy, with Georgia's Aaron Murray likely to be the top prospect. LSU's Zach Mettenberger and Alabama's A.J. McCarron are also going to contend with Boyd for positing in the draft. A fellow ACC quarterback, Virginia Tech's Logan Thomas, could also be near the top of draft boards thanks to his prototypical size and arm strength.
Boyd will likely still be docked for his 6'1 height, but another year of read option and Russell Wilson starting in the NFL may help him surpass some of his colleagues and move up the draft board. How he performs against some of the top defenses on Clemson's schedule will also have plenty of impact.