Shrine Bowl: Jhay Boyd Spotlight

ROEBUCK, S.C. --- UNC verbal commitment Jhay Boyd figures to be one of North Carolina's main offensive weapons during Saturday's Shrine Bowl.

"I feel like they're going to use me in a lot of different ways," Boyd said. "They might even put me at tight end a little bit. You know, just give me an opportunity to make plays. We have other receivers with the same abilities, but I feel like they're going to move me around a lot."

The North Carolina squad will employ a run-oriented offense. While that might not sound favorable for Boyd, a 6-foot-2, 184-pound wide receiver from Gastonia (N.C.) Ashbrook, the reliance on the run should open up the passing game for some big plays.

"It's like a power-type, play-action pass offense," Boyd said. "We're going to try to establish the run early. And then I think the receivers are going to make some big plays for North Carolina."

In just two practices, Boyd seems to have developed chemistry with both North Carolina quarterbacks – Brett Mooring of Vanceboro (N.C.) West Craven and Randy Pressley of Weaverville (N.C.) North Buncombe.

"I know that we've established a good connection on the one-on-ones – that's what I want with both of my quarterbacks," Boyd said.

During Monday's first practice session, Boyd handled a few kick returns. But as a preventive measure, Boyd will be relegated to strictly offense.

"I don't think they're going to let me do special teams because of my shoulder – they want to protect me," Boyd said.

Boyd hurt his shoulder during the season. Under his shoulder pads, he is sporting a brace that covers much of his torso.

Despite the rumors and reports, Boyd says his pledge to UNC is firm.

"I don't really think I'm going to look around," Boyd said. "People are going to tell me I look good in this or that, but I feel comfortable with my decision. I feel comfortable with Butch Davis and the coaching staff at North Carolina, and what they plan to do with me."

Boyd has one official visit slot remaining and he says it's going to UNC. He has already scheduled the trip for January 16.

When asked if he planned to take an unofficial visit to a school like Clemson, Boyd let out a loud "Naah."

"On a scale of 1 to 10, my interest in Clemson is maybe a two or a three," Boyd said. "When the recruiting process first started, Clemson was the first school to recruit me. I've always liked Clemson. I felt like earlier in the year I probably would have committed to them, but I wanted to weigh my options. And then the coaching thing happened.

"I feel like I have a little bit more opportunities at Carolina with this great recruiting class they have."

Speaking of opportunities, UNC will graduate three wide receivers following this season and a couple more could leave the program before next fall.

"I plan on coming there and being a leader out of the receivers," Boyd said. "I know I'll be a freshman. I'm going to look at a lot of game film this summer, find out some new techniques, [and] hit the weight room. I plan on being the go-to guy and a dynamic player when I get there."

During his time in Spartanburg, Boyd has been able to bond with a good portion of UNC's recruiting class. A total of eight players on the North Carolina team have verbally committed to UNC.

"It's been fun," Boyd said. "We've all been joking around, getting to know each other a little bit more.

"That's another thing that helps it out. If I would have committed somewhere else, I wouldn't know as many people. But I've been connected with these guys – Donte Moss, Jared McAdoo."

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