It wasn't hard to pick out Philadelphia, MS defensive lineman Josh Boyd in DL/OL one-on-ones during Michigan's camp last week. He was the youngster in the red helmet that blew by opponents with both quickness and power. The relative ease with which he was operating left the Michigan coaches continuously searching for stiffer challenges.
"They kept trying to put me on their best offensive linemen," Boyd recalled. "I think I did pretty good during the time I was out there."
Few opponents (with the exception of Chris Lombard) were able to slow Boyd down. He excelled both inside and outside, leaving open the question, which spot does he prefer?
"I would like to play defensive end," he admitted, "but it doesn't matter to me. I'll play defensive tackle if they want me to."
Figuring out where to line this talented prospect up is a problem most coaches would love to have. That certainly appears to be true for the staff in Maize & Blue. They rolled out the red carpet for the Magnolia State star in hopes of letting him know just how much they wanted him in Ann Arbor.
"They showed me around the school and stuff," Boyd reported. "They told me they had a really good academic system up there and I really liked that. I spent time with Coach Rodriguez and he was a real nice guy. He talked to me a little bit told me about everything. He broke a few things down to me about the school. There are a lot of things to do around there. It was pretty good. I spent a lot of time with Coach Shafer. He was a pretty nice and pretty cool guy too. I really got to know him a little bit. Plus I like Coach Barwis, man. He is real cool. He works them hard, but he knows what he is doing I like him a lot."
"The one recruiting me is Coach Hopson, and he is a real nice down to earth person," Boyd continued. "He is the one that gave me my first scholarship when he was at Southern Miss. I already knew him. He doesn't come at you too hard. He just tells you the good things about Michigan. He breaks things down to you and gives you a good understanding about everything. He is real nice."
The treatment Boyd received cat Michigan compared favorably to that which he experienced on a prior camp trip to Mississippi State. Because of that, the Wolverines have made a move in his recruitment.
"I went to Mississippi State, but that was a one day thing and I really didn't do anything there except hang out with the coaches," he said. "The Mississippi State coaches have shown me some good times. I've kind of vibed with those guys too. I really like it up there. When I went to Michigan I did the workout and had a lot of fun. (The distance from home) wasn't bad at all. I really didn't even think about it. I just came up there and had fun. (The time in Ann Arbor) moved them up because I got to see a lot of things that I liked."
How far up remains to be seen. For the time being Boyd is staying mum about his list of favorites.
"I'll have a top list of schools around the time school starts," he said. "I think I'll be taking a few more trips to Florida State, Ole Miss, and LSU. I'm probably going to take some visits in the fall too. I'll probably come back up that way (to Ann Arbor). My decision will come down to the coaches, the players, the atmosphere at the school, and the main thing… the academics."