We’re breaking down who we think will be Texas’ starting lineup, a combined effort from Mike Craven, Brian Davis and Danny Davis. We’re doing two a day, one offensive and one defensive player.
Junior cornerback, 6-0/200
High school: Gilmer
Signing class: 2015
Career games: 24
Career starts: 8
Career numbers: 67 tackles, 1 interception, 5 pass breakups, 3 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries
1. A game-saving interception in Lubbock last year.
2. A career-high nine-tackle game vs. Oklahoma in 2016.
3. Three pass breakups against Iowa State last year.
WHO HE WAS — BEFORE TEXAS
Boyd, a member of Charlie Strong’s 2015 recruiting class that ranked 10th in the nation, was expected to become a starter at Texas. He was a four-star recruit out of Gilmer, where he played for Jeff Traylor, who’d go on to work on Strong’s final staff.
He helped Gilmer to a 2014 Class 4A Division I state championship and rushed for more than 1,000 yards as a senior while also starting full-time on defense. The cornerback was a three-time all-district selection, participated at The Opening in 2014 and was selected to play in the 2015 U.S. Army All-American Game. That year Boyd ranked 13th on the Fabulous 55 and was a top-100 overall national prospect, per 247Sports’ composite.
Boyd had 12 scholarship offers, ultimately choosing Texas over Texas A&M and Florida State. He committed on Jan. 30, just days before national signing day. He was part of the same class that brought in Malik Jefferson, Chris Warren III, Connor Williams, Patrick Vahe and fellow corner Holton Hill.
WHO BOYD HAS BEEN HERE — SO FAR
It didn’t take long for Boyd to find his way onto the field. He played in all 12 games as a true freshman, finishing the year with 16 tackles and a forced fumble. He was relied upon more on special teams than cornerback, but that changed his sophomore season. In 2016 he started the final eight games at cornerback; he finished the year with an interception, two fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles and 51 tackles (sixth on the team), and his first career interception sealed a win over Texas Tech.
He has played in 24 career games. He made a case to be considered Texas’ No. 1 cornerback entering his junior year with a strong close to his sophomore season.
WHO TEXAS NEEDS HIM TO BE THIS SEASON
He has only eight career starts under his belt but that won’t stop UT from leaning on that experience this fall. There are, after all, no seniors in the cornerback room.
Position coach Jason Washington said last week that Boyd will be a leader for the young group, both on and off the field. Washington noted that “The better he plays, the better our entire group plays,” which is a theory that will be thoroughly tested with quarterbacks like USC’s Sam Darnold, Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield and Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph awaiting on the schedule.
Remember Boyd’s game-sealing interception against Texas Tech last year? Yeah, the Longhorns will happily take a few more of those this season.
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