CLEMSON -- Tajh Boyd was limited to watching practice last fall when not quarterbacking the scout team.
Early this spring, everyone is watching Boyd.
The spotlight is focused on Boyd because he is Plan B should freshman All-American Kyle Parker opt for pro baseball exclusively this fall, seemingly unlikely but plausible.
Boyd is under observation because he is the heir at quarterback, whether the changing of the guard occurs in 2010, 2011 or 2012.
Everyone is watching the former top-10 quarterback prospect, because he is making his debut in the Clemson offense this spring. The redshirt freshman is the No. 2 quarterback and must be prepared quickly as he is a Parker ankle sprain from being thrust into the starting lineup.
Boyd took all the first-team snaps Sunday in Clemson's first spring practice. He worked as the No. 2 quarterback Monday as Parker made his spring practice debut. On Monday, Boyd teased and tempered with a mix of strong, accurate throws and off-target offerings.
"It's a lot of pressure to walk out there and take his first reps and be with the 1s," Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. "(There are) veteran offensive linemen, veteran tight ends, a couple senior wideouts, a couple veteran backs and he's out there trying to run the show.
"He was poised."
There's no question about Boyd's arm, release or charisma.
Teammate and roommate Bryce McNeal said, "I've never seen him throw a duck." Boyd's arm might not quite be at Parker's elite level, but Boyd gets the ball out quickly and with plenty of rpms.
Still, Swinney says there is fundamental work to be done with Boyd, including simple things like handing the ball off correctly and working on footwork.
There's also the matter of absorbing the playbook and making the correct protection calls. Recall Boyd spent most of last fall running opponents' offenses, not Clemson's.
"He's shown a good ability so far to take things from the meeting room to the practice field," Swinney said. "He's grasping things pretty good. But we have a lot more to do, a lot more to install.
"Hopefully at the end of spring when I answer that question, he really has a good feel for that. We're just building a foundation for him."
The foundation figures to be established quickly.
Entering spring practice, Swinney said a critical objective was developing Boyd.
"Today we added 16 blitzes," Boyd said. "So it's trying to figure how to do it in certain situations. I call to the right side, but it might be the wrong (call)."
And then there's the matter of the speed of the game.
"You've got to get the ball out quick based off reads," Boyd said, "It's coming along."
Boyd said he's not concerned with late-summer scenarios involving Parker, saying he looks at the this spring -- Parker will miss a third of the practices due to baseball -- as an opportunity.
"It's a (chance) for me to get reps and gain experience," Boyd said. "I really just have to worry about myself. If I stay true to that, I'll be fine."
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