An argument could be made that Stephenson High School in Stone Mountain, Ga. was the most talented team in the country in 2009. It sent nine graduating seniors to play FBS football, with a host of others heading to FCS or junior college programs. With talent like that, it was hard to find playing time as an underclassman but Jared Boyd was too good not to see the field.
Boyd, a 5-foot-9 165-pound cornerback, had three interceptions as a junior and he also returned three punts for touchdowns. That athleticism and instinctual play has now landed him his first two offers.
"I got two offers from Central Florida and Ole Miss," Boyd said. "It was like a big weight was lifted off my shoulders. It's like I'm going to fulfill my dreams and play ball in college and go to college for free."
UCF was the first offer to come in and Boyd will have to take some time to learn more about the Conference USA program.
"I really don't know a lot about them," he said of the Knights. "I know it's in Orlando but that's about all I know. Both of the offers were a surprise. I was always thinking that [Georgia] Tech would be my first offer but they both came out of the blue."
The Ole Miss offer, with its SEC exposure, was a school that Boyd was immediately more familiar with.
"I know a little bit more about them than Central Florida," he said. "I like that they play in the SEC against big time competition. They beat LSU and they beat Florida two years ago. With Coach Nutt there, he's really turning that program around and it's real exciting to have that offer."
Recently, Boyd took in a junior day at Auburn with several of his teammates. Among the things that made strong impressions with him on those visits were defensive back coach Phillip Lolley and Jordan Hare Stadium.
"It went well," he said of the visit. "I love Coach Lolley. I like him. He seems like he knows a lot about what he's talking about. The stadium, I fell in love with. It seats 87,000 I think. It was a pretty nice school."
Boyd has also been to a junior day at Georgia Tech but he's not done. On March 27, he will go to either Miami, Ole Miss or Vanderbilt for a visit. Until then, he plans on training for camps and combines and continuing to run track.