July 25, 2010

Boyd chooses Blue Devils

Today the Duke football program received some outstanding news. Jared Boyd, a three-star cornerback from Stone Mountain (Ga.) Stephenson, has committed to the Blue Devils, turning down a long list of other schools in the process.

Devils Illustrated spoke with the 5-foot-9, 165-pound corner shortly after he made his decision.

"I decided to commit to Duke," Boyd announced on Sunday evening. "There's nothing like a Duke education, first and foremost. When I went there I talked to coach (David) Cutcliffe and I feel like we can bring that winning tradition back to Duke.

"I asked him a question while I was there. I asked him, 'With your academic standards is it going to be hard to win football games?' He said no, that they're going to win football games because of their academic standards. When he said that I was all over Duke. I want to be a part of something like that."

With offers from schools like Georgia Tech, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ole Miss, Stanford and Syracuse, Boyd is a highly touted prospect and he had plenty of other options. Duke and most of those other schools first got involved with Boyd during the springtime. That's when he picked up most of his offers.

"Nothing really stood out about them right away," he said. "But then I went down there and researched the academics. I liked everything I saw."

Ultimately Boyd's decision came down to Duke, Ole Miss, Stanford, Syracuse, Illinois and Middle Tennessee. Another factor that helped the Blue Devils was the potential for early playing time.

"I'm going to play cornerback," he said. "Duke is in dire need of cornerbacks. I'm coming down there to work hard and make that football team better. With this recruiting class we've got I feel like I can be that missing piece.

"One guy they have was supposed to be coming down there but I think they said he blew out his knee. They're not saying he's done for the season, but there are only three or four other guys I would have to beat out. If I do that then I'm on the field."

Boyd was surrounded by a lot of talent on his high school defense so his stats aren't as gaudy as they would have been some other places. Nonetheless, 50 tackles, four interceptions and two punt returns for touchdowns is pretty good by anyone's standard. It's also an indication that Boyd could eventually serve as a dangerous return man.

The Stephenson prospect is ranked the No. 38 cornerback in the nation by Rivals.com, and the No. 46 prospect in the talent-rich state of Georgia.

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