NCF On The Trail: Tyler Boyd

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- James Franklin hasn't even spent one night in Happy Valley, but Penn State's new head coach has already thrown down the recruiting gauntlet against Pittsburgh and other teams in the northeast.

"Our recruiting philosophy," Franklin said Saturday afternoon during his introductory press conference, "we are going to dominate the state. We are going to dominate the region.

"I'm going to call all the high school coaches. I'm calling all the people in the state that we need to come together like never before."

[+] EnlargeJames Franklin
Matthew O'Haren/USA TODAY SportsJames Franklin didn't mince words when talking about recruiting, say that it's his mission for the Nittany Lions to dominate within the state of Pennsylvania.
Franklin emphasized every line about recruiting and spoke passionately during his first-ever news conference as the Penn State head coach. He's been widely regarded as an incredible recruiter -- he reeled in 22 four-star commits during his time at Vanderbilt -- and he didn't hesitate when asked about his high recruiting hopes.

The new coach's bold statement comes after years of PSU routinely losing out in western Pennsylvania. Sure, Penn State has earned commitments of some prospects such as wideout Troy Apke, but it's missed more than it's hit. PSU fell out of favor with ESPN 300 targets such as WR Tyler Boyd (2013 commit; Pitt), ATH Dravon Henry (2014 commit; West Virginia) and DB Montae Nicholson (2014 commit; Michigan State).

Beating Pitt out for recruits in its own backyard is a daring statement. So, a few minutes after answering his first recruiting question, Franklin was given a chance to soften his words. This time, he was asked where his recruiting focus lay -- but he again wasted no time in reinforcing his original point.

"I don't know if I mentioned this before, but we're going to dominate the state," he said matter-of-factly. "That's the first thing we're going to do."

And after that? Well, Franklin said next comes the region, in such states and areas as New Jersey, New York, New England, Virginia and Delaware. And, then, comes the nation.

"I think you sell yourself short when you don't do that," said the coach who got three commitments from California in Vanderbilt's last class.

Of course, Franklin never specifically mentioned Pitt at that point in the press conference. Maybe he'd back down if that was spelled out to him, maybe he'd try to soften up all this talk of dominating and controlling. It was an interesting thing to say, after all, for his first day on the job.

But Franklin just doubled-down on those statements when Pitt was specifically mentioned in one reporter's question.

"When I say Pennsylvania, when I say Penn State, that's the whole state," he said. "That is the whole state. We will recruit every corner of this state, every school of this state, every neighborhood of this state.

"And when I say recruit, not only just the student-athletes. I mean the people of the great state of Pennsylvania. We will recruit everybody, and that is with tremendous respect for the University of Pittsburgh. But we are ... Penn State."
With less than 24 hours until signing day, ESPN 300 athlete Tyler Boyd (Clairton, Pa./Clairton) is still wrestling with his decision.

That decision will come at 10 a.m. Wednesday at his high school with his teammates, his mother, Tonya Payne, told ESPN.com in a text message.

Earlier Tuesday, Payne said it was up in the air whether Boyd, No. 165 in the ESPN 300, would announce at 10 a.m. ET Wednesday at his high school with his teammates. Boyd will fax his letter of intent to Pittsburgh, Tennessee or West Virginia.

Rumors abound on Pitt's 'Killer Ts' 

February, 4, 2013
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The rumor mill began churning Monday evening regarding the three Pittsburgh commitments from Clairton (Pa.), speculating that not only was Tyler Boyd on the fence but teammates Titus Howard and Terrish Webb were as well.


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ESPN 300 ATH Boyd shuffles visits 

January, 31, 2013
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The recruitment of four-star athlete Tyler Boyd (Clairton, Pa./Clairton) has taken another major turn.

Boyd and his family were scheduled to host West Virginia for an in-home visit Friday night, but his mother Tonya Payne said she spoke with the West Virginia coaches Wednesday night and that plan has changed.


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Knoxville has been teeming with top 2013 prospects since Butch Jones began hosting visitors in January, but the new Tennessee coach will no longer be bringing in a top target on campus as planned.


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ESPN 300 ATH, Pitt commit visiting Vols? 

January, 24, 2013
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When ESPN 300 athlete Tyler Boyd (Clairton, Pa./Clairton) committed to Pittsburgh on national TV, he did it with the disclaimer he would make official visits to other programs.


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Signing day primer: Penn State 

January, 23, 2013
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With two weeks left until signing day, NittanyNation takes a closer look at what fans should know about the state of the class and this Penn State team.

Team needs: Defensive coordinator John Butler made it clear he wasn't happy with the secondary's depth last season. At cornerback, untested true freshman Da'Quan Davis was the backup, and the safeties opened the year as the team's weakness.

That's not the only concern. With Matt McGloin's departure, Steven Bench is now the most experienced quarterback on the team. And he threw just eight passes last season. Linebacker is also a position that could use a few extra bodies, especially with Michael Mauti and Gerald Hodges making a run at the NFL.

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Weekly Commitment Update 

January, 11, 2013
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ACC
Clemson
Ebenezer Ogundeko DE Brooklyn, N.Y./Thomas Jefferson
HT: 6-3 WT: 229
Position Rank: #10 DE

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Scouts: Boyd's a big piece for Pitt 

January, 6, 2013
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The importance of keeping in-state kids at home and also away from Penn State is critical to the long term success of Pitt’s program, especially now that they enter the ACC this coming fall. Tyler Boyd (Clairton, Pa./Clairton) adds versatility and playmaking skills on both sides of the ball with a likelihood he will end up as a pass catcher on offense. He is more shifty and quick than fast, but has good size and could play in the slot as well. While Paul Chryst wants to run the football, weapons outside are necessary for balance and big plays over the top off play-action.

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Pitt rebounds with Boyd 

January, 5, 2013
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As artist Meat Loaf once said, “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad.”


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Army Bowl: Tyler Boyd picks Pitt

January, 5, 2013
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SAN ANTONIO -- Tyler Boyd (Clairton, Pa./Clairton) was believed to be a Pittsburgh lean entering the week, and on Saturday, the ESPN 300 athlete made the belief a reality.

Boyd chose Pitt during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, choosing the Panthers over Michigan State and West Virginia. The 6-foot-2, 182-pound athlete became the Panthers’ 22nd commitment of the 2013 recruiting class and the first of the new year.

Boyd, who also thought about attending Arizona, Penn State and Rutgers, visited Pitt on Nov. 16. He helped Clairton win its fourth straight state title last month. Boyd is ranked No. 161 in the ESPN 300, the No. 17 athlete nationally and the No. 7 player in Pennsylvania in his class.
SAN ANTONIO -- Wednesday was a day off for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl teams. Instead of working out and participating in drills, the players took in visits around the city -- including a stop at the Alamodome for photo opportunities and to see their game apparel -- and used the day to recover from two days of practice.

The teams will return to the fields on Thursday in arguably the most important practice of the week. Here are five things to keep an eye on for Thursday’s practice:

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videoSAN ANTONIO – ESPN 150 wide receiver James Quick (Louisville, Ky./Trinity) has drawn plenty of attention for his play through two practices for the East team in preparation for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

He’ll garner even more eyes his way on Saturday when he announces his commitment during the game.

[+] EnlargeJames Quick
Damon Sayles/ESPN.comESPN 150 WR James Quick is set to decide between Ohio State, Louisville and Oregon on Saturday.
The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder said he is down to Louisville, Ohio State and Oregon. Though his decision will come Saturday, it could be finalized by Wednesday morning, as he sits down to discuss his options with his parents, who are in town for the event.

“I am basically going to ask them which coach they have the best relationship with,” Quick said. “There has to be a relationship with the head coach and family as well.”

When asked if there was a head coach among his finalists that was stood out to him the most, he said no. But Louisville coach Charlie Strong and his tendency of playing freshmen is intriguing to him and is one of the main reasons that Louisville is in the mix.

The sales pitch for all of them is pretty much the same: Join our program, and early playing time will likely be there.

“They are all basically saying that I am going to get early playing time. Some are saying that I am going to get the ball more than others,” he said. “It’s all about early playing time, really.”

Quick has taken official visits to Louisville and Ohio State. He wasn’t able to make it to Oregon for an unofficial visit but has the Ducks squarely in the mix because of his relationship with the coaching staff.

“I have built a good relationship with their coaches and the offense that they run. It’s up-tempo, which really excites a player of my caliber,” he said.

Newsmaker: Last week, offensive tackle Jake Campos (West Des Moines, Iowa/Valley) wasn’t expecting to play football over his break. On Tuesday, he was preparing for a nationally televised appearance in a U.S. Army All-American Bowl uniform.

Campos, a three-star Iowa State commit, was called Sunday afternoon as a replacement for injured lineman Chris Fox (Parker, Colo./Ponderosa). By 6 a.m. Monday, he was on a flight to San Antonio. At the end of Tuesday, he was fully taking on the responsibility of fending off stud defensive linemen such as Eddie Vanderdoes (Auburn, Calif./Placer), Justin Manning (Dallas/Kimball) and A’Shawn Robinson (Fort Worth, Texas/Arlington Heights).

“I was shocked at first, but then, I got really excited,” said Campos, a 6-7, 250-pound tackle who said he’s “110-percent committed” to Iowa State.

“It was so out of the blue, but it’s great to be here. At first, learning the plays was tough, but I got those down now. I’m just adjusting to right tackle. I was still working the kinks out, that’s all.”

Superlatives: The East defensive line really stepped up in afternoon practice during 11-on-11 action. Alabama defensive end commit Jonathan Allen (Ashburn, Va./Stone Bridge) was unstoppable. Virginia Tech defensive end commit Wyatt Teller (Bealeton, Va./Liberty) also stepped up his game from Monday, intercepting a pass in the morning session from Auburn-bound quarterback Jeremy Johnson (Montgomery, Ala./Carver) and playing even better in the afternoon. … The best hands on the West team may not be on a wide receiver. ESPN 150 tight end DeSean Smith (Lake Charles, La./Barbe) made some great catches on Monday, and he continued to shine on Tuesday. Smith an LSU commitment, is the No. 5 tight end in the country. … The catch of the day from the East goes to ESPN 300 athlete Tyler Boyd (Clairton, Pa./Clairton), who ripped a ball away from Florida defensive back commitment Nick Washington (Jacksonville, Fla./Trinity Christian). An uncommitted, four-star athlete, Boyd is expected to announce his college future on Saturday. … ESPN 150 running back Derrick Green (Richmond, Va./Hermitage) continued to be the best running back for the East. He shined in the early morning practice, with help from a very good offensive line.


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On the fence about a decision earlier this week, one of the nation's top athletes plans to announce his commitment Saturday.

Clairton (Pa.) ESPN 300 athlete Tyler Boyd said Tuesday he will commit during at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, which kicks off at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Arizona, Michigan State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers and West Virginia are the programs the No. 17 athlete nationally lists as his top group.

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Tyler Boyd: No leader has emerged 

December, 16, 2012
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Tyler Boyd contends there is no No. 1 on his list. If there was, the Clairton (Pa.) athlete would be committing in three weeks.

That likely will not be the case anymore for the ESPN 300 recruit and record-setting playmaker.

"It's still dated on [Jan. 5] but still thinking if I should commit or not. It's a decision I'm not ready for," Boyd said. "It's still Michigan State, Penn State, Rutgers, Arizona, West Virginia and Pitt.

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