Devin Leary Has a Fan in Former Clemson QB Tajh Boyd

Projected NC State starter Devin Leary may still be something of an unknown commodity heading into his sophomore season, but former Clemson star Tajh Boyd thinks he could be the next in the line of successful Wolfpack quarterbacks
Author:
Updated:
Original:

If anyone knows what it takes to play quarterback in the ACC, it's Tajh Boyd.

During his four seasons at Clemson, he completed 64.3 percent of his passes for nearly 12,000 yards and 107 touchdowns with only 39 interceptions. He also rushed for 26 touchdowns while helping coach Dabo Swinney and the Tigers take the first steps toward becoming an elite college football program.

So when Boyd says he's a big fan of NC State's Devin Leary, it holds a lot of weight.

Now a college football analyst, Boyd is in the process of reviewing each of the ACC's returning starting quarterbacks on a Twitter series titled "Tape With Tajh." Here is what he had to say about Leary and the Wolfpack's prospects in 2019 with him under center:

"Pack fans, you had a rough go of it last year, I'm going to be honest. It was very dismal. The scoreboard was ugly most of the time and the stadium was less than half full and you guys lost six straight games. But I'm here to tell you that there's promise and there's hope going forward.

"I can't say that I would understand Dave Doeren's philosophy nor his approach for the first five games. When you look at the film and when you look at the film and the stat sheet, he had everybody throwing the football. He had (three) quarterbacks, he had wide receivers, some running backs tossing it around.

"So he's reaching, trying to figure out which player ws going to lead the team into the future. As a result of that you get some dark times. And I mean really dark. But in the darkest of times, light does appear and that light is Devin Leary.

"I mean this kid was 6-2, 215 as a redshirt freshman from the state of (New) Jersey, where he was the Gatorade Player of the Year two times, both junior and senior seasons. He just has something to him you just can't coach -- just intangibles, great tenacity. That's what I like about him.

"NC State has a rich quarterback history, that we know., especially of late and I think this guy could be next in line. When you're watching the tape, the team was getting its ass kicked, he was getting his ass kicked and just kept getting up and he just kept competing. There's something to be said for that.

"I called some people that have worked with him over the years to gain some insight and gain some clarity into who he was and what he's all about and all they all said the same things. This kid is a worker bee. He's a servant leader. He's a grinder and he's just a firey competitor. That's what I like about him.

"He did some amazing things in Year One despite the circumstances and his surrounding enviornment. I can't want to see what he does in Year 2."

After giving his assessment of Leary, Boyd broke down some tape illustrating the Wolfpack quarterback's arm strength, accuracy, mobility and competitiveness. 

He concluded by saying that "Hopefully this offseason he's been able to light a fire under some of these guys, because with a guy like that, with a warrior mentality, you can do something special with that."

Leary was the third of three quarterbacks to start for State during last season's 4-8 disappointment.

Although the Wolfpack lost all of the games he started, he displayed more arm strength and better poise in the pocket than predecessors Matthew McKay and Bailey Hockman. He finished the season completing only 48.1 percent of his passes for 1,219 yards, eight touchdowns and five interceptions.

Leary came out of State's pandemic-shortened spring practice as the frontrunner for the starting job in 2020, but will still have to hold off challenges from Hockman, redshirt freshman Ty Evans and early enrolling true freshman Ben FInley once preseason camp begins.

Leary to Boyd's vote of confidence with with a re-Tweet.

"I appreciate the love from a fellow ACC QB that I used to look up to," he wrote. "Much respect."

You can follow us for future coverage by clicking "Follow" on the top righthand corner of the page. Also be sure to like us on Facebook & Twitter:

Facebook -- ACC Insider

Twitter -- @WolfpackMaven and Brett Friedlander at @BFriedACC