December 14, 2011

Army, Air Force & Navy in battle for Boyd

Although Jalen Boyd of Louisville (Ky.) Western High School has served most of his high school football career at cornerback, the 6-foot-1, 190 prospect could most likely end up at safety at the next level.

However, albeit corner or safety, Boyd can cause havoc for receivers, running backs and quarterbacks alike.

The rangy recruit already has offers on his plate from Stanford, UCLA, Air Force, Navy, Hawaii and Illinois and you can now add Army to that list.

On Tuesday evening, Boyd, who has been actively recruited by the Black Knights received an in-home visit from Army's cornerback coach, Tony Coaxum.

And although we are talking football, Boyd should clearly realize that if Army is knocking on his door now, it's represent a full court press level of interest.

"It was very good," says Boyd of his visit from the Army staff. "Coach Coaxum showed me what it would be like to attend West Point and playing football for Army. This was the first time we met in person, but we have been in contact for some time."

Even with Boyd's recent commitment to Air Force, he and his father, Lavell, who also doubles as Jalen's head coach made it clear that Western High prospect will explore all options that are consistent with what Boyd is looking for in a college.


So, what exactly are Boyd's prerequisites for considering a college? The father and son tandem conclude that leadership development is an important factor, which they feel are the calling card for all three service academies. So the race is now on for Boyd as noted by the matriarch and coach.

"Yes, he committed (12/7) to Air Force, but Navy and Army have offered in the last few days," shares the senior Boyd. "My take on it is after football, what is there? Jalen is a little bit different type of kid. He expressed that he wanted to be a leader of tomorrow and the service academies are definitely the place where the leaders come from."

"I feel like all three of the academy programs are great place to grow and be a leader," weighs in Jalen, who says that he is looking beyond his playing days. "College football you have four years and if you are fortunate enough to go to the NFL, good, but after that ... what's next? But with the academies, you have a bright future."

With Jalen's soft verbal to Air Force, Lavell Boyd noted that his son will be on the campus of all three of the academies. "That being said, he's going to take all of his visits," adds the senior Boyd. "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity so you want to make sure you are making the right decision."

Boyd is scheduled to visit Navy on the 13th of January, then Air Force on the 20th, followed by Army on the 27th. He was also considering visiting Illinois or Marshall on the 6th, but it's not official yet.

And what about Boyd's offer from the Cardinals of Stanford? "They haven't recruited him since Harbaugh left there," shared Boyd's dad, who is referring to Jim Harbaugh's departure from the collegiate level to take on the head coaching job with the San Francisco 49ers. "That was one of those early offers from his junior year."

Senior Year

It appears that most colleges are projecting safety for Boyd at the next level, although he has played some corner this past season.

"We put him at corner this year out of necessity because we lost one of our top guys and he was able to play there," shares his coach and dad. "At the end of the year we moved him back to safety."

"His strength is that he is a good tackler and out of all the stuff that he does well, I think tackling is his strong point. Most colleges are projecting him as a safety."

"I just like to make plays ... I love run support that's my strength, but good at coverage too," Jalen adds. "At my school, my friends would always call me Patrick Peterson (Arizona Cardinals)."

Boyd also added that beyond the academics and leadership development, there has to be a vibe between himself and the program. "I'm looking for an opportunity to play and even play early, but I just want to go to a school where I'm comfortable with the coaches and not a new staff every four years," he says.

Boyd maintains a 3.1 GPA and plans on majoring in communications.

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