By a one-point margin on both ballots, Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd, the ACC’s total offense leader, nipped North Carolina running back Giovani Bernard to be named the conference’s 2012 Offensive and overall Player of the Year, in balloting by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.
In overall Player of the Year voting, Boyd received 20 votes to Bernard’s 19. In Offensive Player of the Year voting, Boyd beat Bernard by a 22-21 margin.
Boyd, a junior from Hampton, Virginia, averaged 336.8 yards of total offense per game, while rushing for nine touchdowns and one two-point conversion. He also led the ACC in pass efficiency and touchdown passes (34), which broke his own school record. Boyd’s numbers were a big reason why Clemson scored the most points in the ACC during the regular season. It is the eighth time a Clemson player has won the Player of the Year honor (Buddy Gore – 1967, Steve Fuller – 1977 & 1978, Jeff Davis – 1981, William Perry – 1984, Michael Perry – 1987, C. J. Spiller – 2009) and second time a Tiger has won the Offensive Player of the Year award (C. J. Spiller – 2009).
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said of Boyd, who is the ACC’s career active leader with 71 touchdown passes, “I can’t tell you how proud I am of Tajh Boyd. He has had a terrific year in leading us to a second straight 10-win season. It has been 25 years since a starting quarterback has done that.”
“He has broken just about every record out there to the point where he is breaking his own records. I really believe he is the best quarterback in the nation and I am glad to see the American Football Coaches agreed with that today. This award means a lot to him because he has great respect for the players and teams in this league. He has also been a great leader all season. He is very deserving,” said Swinney.
Bernard, a sophomore from Davie, Florida, led the ACC in rushing (122.8 yards per game), scoring average (11.4 points per game), punt return average (16.4 yards per game) and all-purpose yardage (198.1 yards per game). He missed two games with a knee injury early in the season.
Voting for the 2012 Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year award, as voted on by 46 members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.
ACC PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson (20)
Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina (19)
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson (2)
Cornellius Carradine, DE, Florida State (2)
Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State (1)
Voting for the 2012 Atlantic Coast Conference Offensive Player of the Year award, as voted on by 46 members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.
ACC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson (22)
Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina (21)
EJ Manuel, QB, Florida State (2)
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson (1)