Clemson's Tajh Boyd is up for elite award

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Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd is one of 16 semifinalists for the Maxwell Award, the honor presented to the Collegiate Player of the Year by the Maxwell Football Club of Philadelphia.

Boyd is one of nine quarterbacks, three wide receivers and four running backs on the list. Boyd and Virginia Tech running back David Wilson are the only two ACC players on the list.

Boyd and Southern California wide receiver Robert Woods are the only sophomores on the list.

Boyd ranks third in the nation in touchdown passes with 25, seventh in total passing yards with 2674, 12th in pass efficiency and 16th in total offense in leading Clemson to an 8-1 record.

GEORGIA: The Bulldogs are turning to more frontline players, including former Westside star Sanders Commings, in hopes of fixing their porous kickoff coverage.

Georgia has given up a kickoff return touchdown each of the past two games against Florida and Vanderbilt.

New Mexico State, Saturday’s opponent, is ranked 12th in the nation on kickoff returns.

Cornerbacks Commings, Brandon Boykin and Branden Smith worked on the coverage unit during Tuesday afternoon’s practice.

So did linebackers Amarlo Herrera and Ray Drew.

Blair Walsh will continue to handle kickoffs, coach Mark Richt said.

“There was a period of time when Walsh was knocking them out of the end zone like three or four games like every time,” junior Shawn Williams said. “I guess they got relaxed expecting him to knock it out of the end zone and they weren’t quite running, busting it down field. That plays a part in it, too.”

ARKANSAS: Freshman Marquel Wade won’t be playing in Saturday’s game against South Carolina in Fayetteville, Ark.

Wade drew a one-game suspension from the Southeastern Conference on Tuesday for a hit on a Vanderbilt punt returner.

Wade was ejected from Satur­day’s 31-28 victory by No. 8 Ar­kan­sas over the Commodores in Nash­ville after he leveled Jon­athan Krause as he was looking up and before he had the ball.

Krause was on the ground for several minutes but returned to the game and even fielded another punt.

FLORIDA: Running back Chris Rainey is limited in practice because of an ankle injury.

Rainey twisted his right ankle against Georgia, but offensive coordinator Charlie Weis says the team’s leading rusher is probable for Saturday’s game against Vanderbilt.

Rainey leads the Gators in rushing and receiving, the only player in the country to lead his team in both categories.

KENTUCKY: The Wildcats’ starting quarterback job re-opened for competition this week.

Starter Morgan Newton has struggled through what has been a disappointing season for the Wildcats.

His backup, Maxwell Smith, hadn’t done much better.

But when Newton left Sat­urday’s game against Missis­sippi State with an ankle injury in the first quarter, Smith passed for 174 yards. Newton is listed day-to-day with an ankle sprain.


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