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May 6, 2012
Tyler Boyd has known nothing but success at Clairton (Pa.) High.
The 6-foot-1, 168-pound wide receiver has been a part of three consecutive state titles victories and is a key player in the nation's longest winning streak, which is at 47 games and counting.
The success on the field is in stark contrast to what is happening in the rest of the small Pittsburgh suburb. The per capita income in Clairton is under $15,000. It is a high school that has 254 students and its enrollment is on the decline. The school also placed No. 491 of 498 in Pennsylvania for academic achievement in 2011.
The chance to go to college - and have football provide that opportunity - is not lost on Boyd, and when the invitation to take part in the inaugural Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge at Lakewood Stadium in Atlanta arrived he knew this was an opportunity he could not pass on either.
"I had to say yes as soon as they asked me," he said. "To see all the other guys invited, they are top notch, I had to be a part of it to represent myself and represent where I am from."
Boyd is the highest rated player to ever come out of Clairton since Rivals.com began rankings players with the Class of 2002, but he is not the first. The school has sent players to Pittsburgh, Iowa, West Virginia, as well as Texas Tech and Boyd thinks that his trip to the exclusive camp will help add to his list of opportunities.
"I think I am viewed as being a little underrated," he said. "I think that when people see me in person they start talking about what I can do.
"People are all over my versatility once I am in front of them."
Boyd has offers from 10 schools, including Arizona, Boston College, Illinois, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, and Wisconsin as well as in-state Pittsburgh and Penn State, and he says that what people expect to get out of him is not all that will arrive on campus.
"I guess being from Pittsburgh people just naturally think that I can block, and I can, but I can do a lot more than that," he said. "I can get off the line, I can run good routes, and I have really good speed.
While Boyd doesn't have an official time in the 40-yard dash in the Rivals.com database, he says that people will see what he can do with his legs come June 22-24 at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge.
"I have been looking for a camp like this," he said. "I want to go against some guys that can lock me down and that I will have to battle with. It can only make me better.
"They all need to know that I am going to be trying to beat them too and that I am not going to get shut down and quit that is not what I am about."
Mike Farrell's take
I've been intrigued with Boyd since I first saw his junior film, but even more so when some people in Pittsburgh, smart people in the know, told me he was a better receiver prospect that Robert Foster who some have as a national top five prospect. I saw Boyd briefly during the one-on-ones (he arrived late) at the Rivals.com/VTO Sports Pittsburgh camp and he was very smooth, ran good routes and most impressively he flashed big and reliable hands that sucked the ball out of the air. How will he do against the highest level of competition he's seen and can he close the gap between himself and Foster? We will see.