"I mean, I gave the biggest gift to Clemson, I'll share, that's ever been given," former Clemson linebacker Brandon Maye told AllClemson.com.
That gift, though, came thanks to some abysmal movement in the pocket during Maye's Clemson days and led to arguably the most important stepping stone of head coach Dabo Swinney's young coaching career: a mobile quarterback.
"I mean, I personally recruited Tajh Boyd," Maye said. "I went on Facebook, and I said, 'We need a quarterback that can scramble.' Nothing against the guys who were here, but I wanted to go find us a scrambling quarterback, so I harassed Tajh Boyd for weeks."
While Maye relents Boyd had previously been to a Clemson camp before any of their discussions began, he immediately felt the need to tell coach Swinney of the Hampton, VA., product.
"(The coaches) kind of had an idea about him," Maye said. "I hosted him on his visit, got him to commit, I just felt like everything happened for a reason.
"If the recruiting was like the recruiting was when I had VHS, I wouldn't have ever even seen Tajh. But because I was able to go on Rivals top 100, I was able to send him a (Facebook) message, and he finally hit me back. So when he got there, I was like a big brother to him the whole time, and the guy just took care of business."
Boyd came into the program with time to show the coaches, and players, what he could do early on, specifically when former quarterback Kyle Parker had baseball practice in the summertime of Boyd's freshman season.
"I think (Parker practiced) during the summertime, and during that period, we only were really doing like seven on sevens," Maye said. "We did some team activities, but we're like, 'We got a hotshot, top-five quarterback in the nation here. We want to see what this guy can do.'
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"So when Kyle went, we got an opportunity to see him, and he was such a lovable person. He was good with his leadership. Guys really gravitated towards that, and I will tell you, I feel like a lot of people don't give publicity on it, but I feel like I gave Clemson the biggest gift that Clemson could ever, ever have had by giving them that mobile quarterback in Tajh Boyd, somebody that really started this thing off."
Not only did Boyd take over at quarterback in his sophomore year of 2011 (Maye's first season away from Clemson), but Swinney was also able to bring in another critical piece to some of his early success, offensive coordinator Chad Morris.
The first-year full-time starting Boyd added four wins to the 2010 Tigers' 6-7 finish and threw for 3,828 yards in Morris' offense commanding a 10-4 finish: the first ten-win season of Swinney's career.
"Our defense was a top 10, top 15 defense (to me)," Maye said. "But, I can go ahead and say this: we had to make a move on offense. We had to make a move on offense because it wasn't the defense not being as dominant as it took to make it to a championship game. We had defenses, in my opinion.
"Now I'm not saying that offense was bad, but the philosophy of the offense, like you get tired of running bubble screens every play and getting smacked in the mouth. Let these guys stretch the ball down the field; you know you got to Jacoby Ford, Tyler Grisham, Aaron Kelly. You got all these guys on the team, Michael Palmer. You got CJ Spiller, you know you got all this talent, you take that same talent, and you give it to Chad Morris; this would have already been opened up (before Boyd)."
Morris could have easily made a Cullen Harper and Parker-led offense more potent, but even Maye adds, 'It was all destiny,' that things played out how they have in Clemson.
"Boyd got starts under his belt, got Clemson to the next level, and then you bring in a Deshaun Watson," Maye said. "Then everything kind of goes off that one day of me sitting in my dorm room.
"I'm not trying to take credit for it, but I'm just saying, sitting in the dorm room of my apartment, and I'm going back, and I'm just looking through Rivals like, 'Man, I need a quarterback. I need somebody who can move this pocket around.' I got tired of playing so many snaps on defense."
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