Breydon Boyd does not lack confidence, but in the week or so leading up to his weekend trip to Iowa State, a pit sat in his stomach.
The 6-foot-4 Boyd, who is regarded at the 19th-best inside linebacker in 2017, and the fifth-ranked in the Midlands, can hit with the best of them. But as this big moment awaited him, those fear-defying tendencies gave way.
“Butterflies, man, butterflies,” Boyd said of the week-long feeling that has consumed him. “I was really excited and I was kind of nervous at the same time. That’s a whole different chapter of my life, it’s another four years.
“I’m kind of nervous, but I’m real excited.”
Boyd, who visited in February after Iowa State jumped in with an early offer, ended his recruitment Saturday as his second visit wound down, committing to the Cyclones to give them their second linebacker in the 2017 class.
In Boyd, Iowa State lands a hard-hitting 215-pound linebacker from Katy (TX), one of the top high school programs in the nation.
“Breydon Boyd is a physical, big-framed linebacker who best projects to a 3-4 inside/4-3 middle linebacker position at the FBS level,” Scout analyst Gabe Brooks writes. “Great height and length suggest that he possesses high frame potential with ample space to add good bulk. Excellent downhill player who thrives against the run. Strong enough to engage and shed blockers to make plays on the ball. Can deliver a big hit but also consistently sound as a wrap-and-drag tackler. Boyd can play at the P5 level and offer list should reflect that in the end. Overall a well-rounded, physical, high-motor player.”
Iowa State sees Boyd being capable of playing any of the three linebacker positions at the next level. The linebacker spot has been one the Cyclones are attempting to replenish in this 2017 class, and they now couple Boyd with commit O'Rien Vance.
Boyd, who also held offers from the likes of Boise State, Boston College, Hawaii, Colorado State, UNVL and others before committing, made the decision to join Iowa State last week before sharing the news with Matt Campbell and Co. on Saturday.
“He laughed and gave me a big-ass hug,” Boyd said.
Boyd’s decision to commit to Iowa State, in the end, was rather simple. Through his initial trip to campus and his ensuing interactions with coaches, he was left with the same feeling he has long gotten in his hometown of Katy.
“Family, man,” he said. “They’ve treated me like I’m their own and I love that. I’m a big family guy, that’s what I’ve grown up around, that’s what my dad has always taught me is, ‘Family, family, family.’ Stick through thick and thin together. They’re like family."
“It’s a lot like Katy. That’s all we’ve got at Katy is high school football. A lot of people come to our spring games and a lot, a lot of people come to our games, so the atmosphere is a lot the same as our home setting.
What sticks out about Boyd’s game?
“I like being aggressive. I like hitting people,” Boyd said. “I’m not scared of anybody.
Yet when he made the decision one week ago that he would commit to Iowa State during his visit, the decision gave him nerves. Saturday evening, though, Boyd made his commitment and officially settled on his future home.
“It’s a feeling, man,” Boyd said of his route to this choice. “I just feel at home when I’m with them, when I’m around them, when I’m there.”