He’s heard that he’s a bit undersized, but that isn’t stopping three star defensive tackle Brandon Boyce from producing as a senior at St. Thomas Aquinas High in Fort Laurderdale, Fla.
“My season is going pretty well,” Boyce told TDD. “I have 25 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, and three sacks so far playing defensive tackle.”
For a 6-foot, 255 pound player on the interior of the defensive line, those numbers turn your head, which is something Boyce says he hopes continues to happen as linemen are forced to chase the smaller, faster player.
“I really worked on my speed before we started the season. I needed to get a faster first step off the ball and I feel that the results have spoken for themselves week after week. So far, offensive linemen haven’t been able to keep up with me.”
That approach is what sold the Blue Devils on Boyce so many months ago. And while some programs saw an undersized player, Duke saw someone who could certainly make an impact along the defensive line of scrimmage much like former Wake Forest lineman Nikita Whitlock.
“The coaches have told me that being quick and elusive off the ball will definitely help me make the transition to college football next year. They are projecting me to move around the line and to play on both the inside and outside. I talked about it with Coach Jones and Coach Petri.”
“I don’t see anything in their plans being different or more challenging because I’m starting to work the edge now in some games.”
Boyce was recently visited by Coach Jones at his school, and he had a front row seat for Duke’s trip to Miami two weeks ago.
“He came by the school to watch us, and I had a chance to go to the UM game as well. I felt like the team played well, but really needed some more fire.”
On the recruiting front, Boyce picked Duke very early in the process over offers from Nebraska, Central Florida, Illinois, Louisville, and North Carolina State. Since that time, he says most schools have backed off, but not all.
“I still hear from Syracuse, Cincinnati, and Minnesota a lot. None of them really have much of a specific approach, they just send letters and will call to let me know they are still interested and are going to continue to recrui me on their end.”
Still, it seems like a fool’s errand as Boyce says he’s solid in his commitment to Duke, and is already looking forward to his planned official visit.
“After the season I will take my visit with all the other 2015 guys either in December or January. I’m looking forward to getting to campus and attending a Duke basketball game. I already visited in May and saw everything I needed to see to be sold on them.”
Well, maybe not everything.
“I actually want to see the classes and the class size. I heard they are smaller, and that’s great for me since I will be able to get one-on-one with the professors if I am struggling with certain things.”
As for his future path away from the football field, Boyce has an idea of where he wants his pending Duke degree to take him.
“I’d like to pursue medicine or, maybe, criminal law. I would love to open up a dermatology practice in Florida when I’m older. Really, I’m just trying to be successful in this life and what’s better for that than a degree from Duke?”
Boyce is considered a three star prospect by Scout.com and one of the 70 best defensive tackles in the country.