Once basketball season ended Miles Boykin took about a week to let his body recuperate.
After that moratorium the incoming freshman receiver got to work on the workout plan supplied by Notre Dame after National Signing Day. He augmented that regimen with skill work on the field, hoping to tune his route running before arriving in South Bend.
Boykin is up to about 227 pounds, with his report date a week away. He’s done the work and is ready for the transition, including the one in the classroom.
“It’s definitely going to be hard,” Boykin said. “I’m obviously looking forward to getting with the team and the coaches all the time. I’m actually even excited about school. Getting down there, just getting in the atmosphere of being a college kid. It’s coming up soon. My last few days of being a high school kid, I’m trying to enjoy it. I’m definitely ready for college.”
Before making the move from suburban Chicago to Notre Dame, Boykin will wrap up a Florida vacation.
Getting away from home has let the former four-star prospect not only relax but reflect on the process that took him from avid Irish hater to a part of the team. Boykin never would’ve believed that transition could have happened early in his high school career.
Visiting South Bend for the first time changed his perspective.
“It’s almost surreal sometimes,” Boykin said. “People still bring it up to me almost every day like, ‘Hey, remember when you used to hate Notre Dame?’ It’s just so crazy how things change. I think that’s also the spiritual part of my life. God put Notre Dame there for a reason for me. I went to Catholic school for a reason and he made me take that visit for a reason. I’m definitely in tune with my religion and how that plays out in my life.”
Boykin gave Notre Dame a verbal pledge last July. He never wavered on it during a final high school season that included an Illinois State championship for Providence Catholic.
He took a postseason official visit, then signed in February without issue. When he returned for spring practice, Boykin met up with quarterback Malik Zaire, now the starter with Everett Golson at Florida State. Boykin’s relationship with Zaire has already started to take shape.
“It’s been awesome,” Boykin said. “I went there during spring practice when both him and Everett were there and he sat down and talked to me a little bit. He was really cool. Then I messaged him on Twitter and he just said, ‘Get ready to go because we’re going for a national championship. So be on board.’ My message back to him was basically, ‘I’m ready to do whatever you want. Tell me what you guys need and our freshman class is down to do whatever for this team.’”
Boykin sensed in Zaire an unquantifiable leadership factor.
“I think leaders have that certain thing about them that whenever you get around them you just know they’re that person to follow,” Boykin said. “They’re that person you want to lead. Just me being around him so little, I know that I’m ready to do whatever for him. In my eyes he’s gonna be a huge leader and a huge role model for me. I’m excited for that alone.”
Soon enough Boykin will be able to follow Zaire’s lead in person, straight onto the field. When it comes to gauging personal success this season, it’s simply cracking the lineup.
“Definitely getting time on the field,” he said. “I’m not going there to sit. I’m going there to play. I’m gonna work my tail off every play, every rep I get in practice to try to make a name for myself while I’m there. I’ll do anything it takes for my teammates to win.”