Former Clemson QB Tajh Boyd High on QB Hendon Hooker's Game

Bryan Manning

Virginia Tech fans know former Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd quite well. Boyd, who signed with Clemson back in 2009, never really considered the Hokies a serious contender out of Phoebus High School, despite Virginia Tech’s interest.

At the time, Virginia Tech had Tyrod Taylor under center for two more years and Taylor, who played at Hampton High School, was a fierce rival of Boyd’s Phoebus Phantoms.

Boyd redshirted his first year at Clemson and was the backup quarterback in 2010. Boyd took over as the Tigers’ starting quarterback in 2011 and is arguably — along with head coach Dabo Swinney and Deshaun Watson — the most important figures in Clemson’s rise to college football’s elite.

These days, Boyd is a licensed real estate agent and also a college football analyst.

Recently, Boyd started a Twitter thread where he reviewed tape of all returning ACC starting quarterbacks and Virginia Tech’s Hendon Hooker was up first.

Hooker, a 6-foot-4, 228-pound redshirt junior, made eight starts in 2019, winning six of those starts and completely changed Virginia Tech’s offense.

Hooker completed 61 percent of his passes for 1,555 yards and 13 touchdowns, with just two interceptions. He also rushed for 356 yards and five scores.

Boyd, in his first of three segments on Hooker in “Tape With Tahj,” described Hooker as “raw and super talented” and if he cleans up a few of his mechanical issues could be really special.

In the second segment, Boyd covers Hooker in the Hokies’ win at Georgia Tech last season. On one specific play, Hooker faces a Georgia Tech defense, which is in a single-high look, and looks to hit wide receiver Tre Turner deep.

As Boyd describes, Hooker uses excellent footwork on the play, initially double-clutches the football, before unwinding a beautiful deep ball to Turner along the right sideline for a huge gain. Boyd says this throw shows him that Hooker has poise and unbelievable arm strength.

Boyd reiterates that Hooker has some polishing to do on his overall game, but his talent and skillset is fantastic.

The next play is from Virginia Tech’s early-season win over Rhode Island at Lane Stadium.

On this specific play, Rhode Island is showing a cover-zero look, meaning Hooker knows he is getting one more blitzer that his protection cannot account for. It is a third-and-goal, meaning Hooker cannot afford to take a sack in a game that was surprisingly close.

Hooker gets pressure, as he is fading back a bit, he throws an absolute dart to Damon Hazelton for a Virginia Tech touchdown. Boyd was equally impressed with Hooker’s quick ability to diagnose the defense and his impressive arm strength.

On the two plays, Boyd compares them to similar plays from his career.

In a time where we are starved for some sports, go ahead and check these videos out. Boyd does a great job of breaking down the throws from a unique perspective while also giving Virginia Tech fans hope regarding its starting quarterback. 

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