Trent Richardson

Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Clemson using former QB Tajh Boyd in practice to emulate Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett

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Former Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd, a key figure in the rise of the Clemson program in recent years, was back at Clemson’s practice this week as the ACC champion Tigers prepare for a College Football Playoff semifinal matchup with Ohio State, but Boyd was not there merely as a spectator or for words of encouragement. Boyd was there to practice as a member of Clemson’s scout team, taking on the role of Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett.

The idea of using former players to help out on the practice field has been a little bit of a debating point recently. Last month, Alabama head coach Nick Saban battled back at criticism he faced for using former Alabama players Trent Richardson and Blake Sims on the scout team. The NCAA does allow for former players to participate in practices, so long as the practice time is limited and not announced publicly beforehand. This has been criticized by some, including Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly.

For what it is worth, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer was intrigued by the use of former players when word of Saban’s practice methods became public.