Tyler Boyd: The Next Great Thing For Pitt Football
By James Ferguson
This year's Pitt Panthers football team featured star defensive lineman Aaron Donald, who dominated college football.
However, Donald's season was not the only one of note for Pitt. Freshman wide receiver Tyler Boyd was a standout on the team this season as he produced one of the best seasons by a Pitt receiver since Larry Fitzgerald. Boyd broke Fitzgerald's freshman record for receiving yards in 2013 and added eight total touchdowns.
Not only is Boyd a threat through the air, but on the ground. Boyd rushed for more than 100 yards this season on only 11 attempts and had a rushing touchdown. Pitt used Boyd mainly on end arounds and reverses, but he showed his abilities. He's a threat on special teams as well. Boyd had three punt returns in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, returning one for a touchdown. The kid is naturally gifted with size and speed and showed it in his freshman campaign at Pitt.
Boyd is the next big thing at Pitt and college football defenses will need to plan around him when facing the Panthers. Before the season started the main talk was focused around wide receiver Devin Street, as it should have been due to the outstanding 2012 season he had with seven touchdowns and more than 800 yards receiving. Street, who missed three games this season, made a great tandem with Boyd, helping the freshman become open as teams accounted for the senior.
If you are a Pitt fan, there's a lot to be happy about. This kid has all the tools that you want in a football player and the ability to help put the Panthers on the map. Boyd will be the focal point of the team next season and will get a lot of help with returning starters to take the pressure off of him. He will have to develop a good relationship with new starting quarterback Chad Voytik, but the pair should do just fine when the season starts. The upside to a new quarterback is that Boyd knows the field already and has been in situations to make big-time plays. If Voytik can get the ball to Boyd, he can do the rest with his skills. Boyd will help the Panthers make a statement next year and everyone will be watching his sophomore season.