Q&A with Jhay Boyd (with video)

GASTONIA, N.C. --- Immediately after announcing his Tar Heel commitment Thursday in front of the student body at Ashbrook Stadium, Jhay Boyd spoke with Inside Carolina ...


Was there something in particular you were looking for in a school?

"Not really, it was really … It was whichever school offered me the best opportunity. I was really leaning towards Oklahoma a lot. Being close by helped out a lot. I want my mom and I want anybody else in Gaston County to come see me play.

"It really came down to coaches. I like Coach [Butch] Davis – one of the best college coaches, ever. He sends a ton of guys to the pros. He knows how to help you out academically. I like all of the coaches at Carolina – that's what it came down to."

How much does it help that it seems like he's turned that program around?

"It helps out a lot. I've been telling a lot of people ‘Watch out for Carolina; they're going to be good this year.' This year, they weren't expecting to be that good - they kept talking about the class of '09. They're proving a lot of people wrong this year."

Where do you see yourself fitting in? Do you see yourself fitting in right away?

"Yeah, I expect to fit in right away. I like Coach [John] Shoop, the offensive coordinator. He runs pro-style routes. Hakeem Nicks will most likely go first round [in the NFL draft] this year. They're talking about I can come in and fill in his shoes."

When did you make up your mind?

"I made up my mind about a month ago. I know where I wanted to go, but I still wanted to look at some other options. And then Oklahoma impressed me a lot. It was a hard decision coming down between Oklahoma and Carolina."

How much did the depth chart have to do with your decision?

"Not really. I believe I have different abilities then other receivers. I'm not too tall, I'm not too short – I'm at the right height. I can jump like a possession receiver and I can run like a slot receiver. The depth chart mattered a little bit, but not as much."

How much did the Clemson coaching change affect you?

"It affected me a lot. I liked Coach [Tommy] Bowden. You never know what's going to happen with those coaching changes. They might bring in another guy that runs a wing-t – like Georgia Tech. I really couldn't take a chance on Clemson."

How did the skit come about for your announcement?

"I was in class one day and I just thought about it -- ‘I've got to do something different then hats.' I was like ‘I could use girls, I could figure out this play.' So I told them that, they liked it, and we just had fun with it."

Have you qualified academically yet?

"Academically, I'm very close. I should get over with the next SAT. Every time I take it, I know more and more."

Did you let the coaches know about your decision beforehand?

"I did. I let them know. I wanted them to keep it quiet for a little bit, because I wanted to announce, but they knew."

Did you tell the coaches other than UNC?

"I didn't inform the other coaches, just the Carolina coaches. It will be hard – tough – but I'll tell the [other] college coaches that I'm not interested."

So you made up your mind a month ago?

"Yeah, I made up my mind a month ago and then Oklahoma came and I wasn't for sure. But it's a strong commitment. I'm not going anywhere else."

You still have a fifth official visit.

"I do and I'm taking it to Carolina."

Do you have it set up?

"Not yet, [I'll go] whenever they want me to take it."

Was that the plan?

"It was. That's why I took the four officials and left the other one open so I could throw people off guard, you know bring in other people. I felt like I had a couple of people tricked."

What was it about North Carolina's offense that made you feel like it was your best fit?

"Like I said, they run a pro-style [offense]. They have Coach Shoop, offensive coordinator from the Chicago Bears. He knows what he's doing. They turned around the program in two years with Coach Davis. They have Coach [John] Blake, Coach Tommy Thigpen, Coach [Charlie] Williams – I like all of them. They're all a part of turning that program around."

You're one of five receiver prospects that are committed to UNC, how have they said how you fit in with that group?

"They expect me to come in and be an impact player. North Carolina kid going to Carolina – that's what a lot of people like to see. They told me I'll play as a true freshman."

Back in the spring, UNC wasn't on you as hard as other schools. Looking back, is it ironic that you are now committing to UNC?

"I know it's strange, because Carolina wasn't on me. I was like ‘Man, I'm in North Carolina and they're not recruiting me.' It was out-of-state schools that were recruiting me hardest. And Coach [Mike] Briggs and my mentor Joseph Johnson told me that Carolina, they do the recruiting a little slow. I was like ‘I'm not going to Carolina. Just forget it. I don't care any more.' Then they turned around, I went up there – enjoyed it – [and] liked the coaches, academic advisers – I connected with them all. That really turned it around going up there."

How much did John Blake affect your recruitment?

"A lot, a lot. That really impacted me. He knows how to send players to the pros – that's my ultimate goal. Another goal is to get my degree in three and a half years and major in communication."

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