ESPN 300 ATH Tyler Boyd not cutting list


Clairton (Pa.) senior athlete Tyler Boyd is poised to become one of the WPIAL's all-time greats. Barring anything unforeseen Friday, Boyd will become Western Pennsylvania's leader in career touchdowns. He is already among the top 10 in career rushing yardage and just helped Clairton to a state record 60th consecutive win.

Boyd will take the touchdown record from Rushel Shell, who scored 110 career touchdowns.

"It'll feel like this game, getting to 60 wins," Boyd said of breaking the record. "He was one of the best players in the WPIAL to play this game. Beating his record is a huge accomplishment."

Shell is a freshman at Pittsburgh, and the Panthers have Boyd at the top of their recruiting board. Boyd spent much of his official visit weekend at Pitt with Shell.

It was only a few months ago that Boyd, No. 161 in the ESPN 300, was hardly considering Pitt. Assistant coach Bobby Engram has been instrumental in bringing Pitt toward the top of Boyd's list.

"They are up there now. I think the No. 1 thing is Coach Bobby Engram," Boyd said. "He's probably one of the coolest recruiters recruiting me. We just got a strong connection and can talk to him about anything.

"He told me I'm going to get a bunch of plays, a couple of plays in the backfield as well, and he's not pressuring me on a commitment or anything."

West Virginia could be Pitt's stiffest competition, and the Mountaineers have been toward the top of Boyd's list for quite some time. He has not visited the Mountaineers since September, however.

"They're definitely still in the hunt," he said, "but I haven't been out there recently but still staying in contact with them."

Arizona, Michigan State, Rutgers and Wisconsin are also in the running for Boyd. The Wildcats could get the next official visit as Boyd is considering a visit to Tucson with quarterback commit Thomas Woodson (Monroeville, Pa./Gateway).

Wisconsin was supposed to host Boyd for an official visit the weekend he ended up going to Pitt. The Badgers and Boyd have each cooled on the other as the interest has not been the same since talks broke down days before the video was set to happen.

"Our connection isn't as strong as it was," he said. "It's all right, but isn't as strong as anybody else's. I think they got enough players and are riding out with who they got."

Penn State is still hanging around despite the sanctions surrounding the program. Before the July 23 punishment was handed down, the Nittany Lions were a serious threat to land the dynamic athlete.

Following the sanctions, Boyd initially crossed Penn State off his list, but he said he is still considering the Lions, calling them a "great program" and mentioning Penn State's streak of televised games.

Coaches Bill O'Brien and Charles London have strong relationships with Boyd, but it is his relationship with Lions pledge Christian Hackenberg, the nation's No. 1 quarterback, that has kept the Lions in the running.

"Hackenberg influenced me a lot, especially playing with him in Atlanta," Boyd said. "He's a great quarterback and the best quarterback in the country."

A decision will likely come at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.