This offseason we will count down various topics from Monday through Friday, bringing you the top five of the important and definitely some not so important issues in college football. It's the Doc Five, every week until we will thankfully have actual games to discuss.
PLAYERS WHO COULD KEEP JOHNNY MANZIEL FROM ANOTHER HEISMAN
NO. 2, TAJH BOYD
When Tajh Boyd announced he would forgo being part of a weak 2013 NFL draft class to come back to Clemson, he solidified his spot as one of the major threats to unseat Johnny Manziel for the Heisman Trophy.
Boyd has been a little underrated and overshadowed during his career, but that should change this year.
He has had two productive seasons as a starter, throwing for more than 3,800 yards each of the past two seasons, with 69 touchdown passes. He also ran for 514 yards and 10 touchdowns last season.
NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah, a former scout and a great follow on Twitter, had a very accurate and complimentary comparison for Boyd:
Tajh Boyd reminds me of Russell Wilson for these 3 reasons: easy thrower, escapability and toughness.
— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) May 22, 2013
That fits, and Boyd is also taller than Wilson, who was great at N.C. State and Wisconsin in college and looks like a future NFL star with Seattle.
Given that Boyd has set his statistical floor at a level that should already have him in the Heisman mix (he was not a top 10 finisher last year despite accounting for 4,410 yards and 46 touchdowns ... told you he was underrated), a natural progression as a senior could lead to him contending for the Heisman Trophy.
Last year Boyd improved his completion percentage from 59.7 to 67.2, a good sign that he's maturing as a quarterback. He almost doubled his rushing production, another positive sign. He will miss receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who was a first-round pick of the Houston Texans in April, but he does have the incredibly talented Sammy Watkins back.
What Boyd has to do is eliminate mistakes. One other stat that has been consistent is Boyd's interceptions, with 12 in 2011 and 13 in 2012. He had four multiple interception games last season, which is probably too many to win a Heisman Trophy given the deep group of quarterbacks in college football this season. He'll also need to lead Clemson to a very good season and maybe a BCS bowl game. That's certainly possible, considering Clemson's schedule is fairly favorable until a Nov. 30 game at South Carolina. That game comes just before most Heisman ballots will be submitted.
Boyd's 346-yard, two-touchdown game against a tough LSU defense in the Chick-fil-A Bowl last year shows he has the ability to play at a Heisman Trophy level. If he can stay at that level through a full season, and Clemson gets some key wins, Boyd will end up getting a lot more votes than last year.