Cory Boyd: "I'm Back"

Junior running back Cory Boyd returns for the Gamecocks in 2006 after serving a year long suspension. The versatile Boyd totaled over 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in his first two seasons at Carolina, but Boyd has had to deal with a lot over the past year, including the recent loss of his mother. Boyd talks about how he has matured over the last year and much more in this interview.

Question: What are your thoughts on this being such a young team this season?

Answer: We have some real young guys out there, and they're going to have to step in and really be the core of the team. That's what we've got to put in their heads right now.

Question: Do you believe the offensive line will step up this year?

Answer: Definitely, with Coach Spurrier there, he's going to give them the opportunity. Coach Hunt is working with them day in and day out. He's putting in the overtime and doing what he has to do to get the line ready, because they're very young, but they're very committed to what they've got to do.

Question: Did you learn anything from last year about how much you love football by having to sit out and watch?

Answer: Yea, I actually learned a lot. Being away from my teammates, it really set me back. I had to really think about what was important to me, and I actually missed the team and wish I could have been out there to help them. Now that I'm back, I'm going to give it all that I have, 110 percent or even more. When I'm weak, I'm just going to help my team out the best way I can morally and just by speaking anytime I can.

Question: How did it affect you when you saw the team struggle to run the ball at times last season?

Answer: It hurt, but I'm only one person. I'm not the team. Mike Davis did the best he could do, and the other running backs did the best they could do. I just wish that I could have helped in some type of way, but unfortunately I couldn't. This year it's going to be a different story, and we just want everybody to know that we're going to be a good running team this year. We're going to compete with everybody.

Question: How tough has this past year been for you with the suspension and the recent loss of your mother?

Answer: There's not really much I can say about it. It was put on my plate, and as a young man, that's what you're going to have to deal with. You're going to have to deal with adversity. I've been dealing with it my whole life, but I just had to pick my head up and keep strong knowing that my mother is always going to be there for me. Now she can watch over me, and the distance doesn't have to be there. Now I'm more focused on what I have to get done. My goals are pretty much right there in front of me. I've just got to go get them.

Question: Did you ever consider walking away from football?

Answer: There were plenty of times when I was down, and I really just wanted to give it up. I've been through so much in my lifetime, and this felt like it was the icing on the cake for me, but there was something that was greater than just me. The Lord helped me get through it, and I'm just glad that Coach Spurrier and The Lord have given me another chance to be out here with my team and make it a new year.

Question: Do you have any individual goals for this year?

Answer: I really don't have any individual goals. I just want to be out there with my teammates, help them the best way that I can, and make us the best running team in the SEC right now.

Question: Do you approach things differently now and maybe appreciate the game of football more after everything that you've gone through?

Answer: On the days when my body allows me to, I really try to put it all in there. I appreciate everything that my body is letting me do right now. I've been through two surgeries and been through a lot in my life, but I'm still young, and I've still got a lot to live for and a lot to do before I rest. I'm just happy to be out here.

Question: You always seem to smile and have an excitement about you, even when there isn't much reason to smile. Is there a story behind that?

Answer: You're supposed to be happy. I was told when I was young to always keep a smile on your face. Never let nobody see you frown. I ran with that motto all my life, and even when things are wrong, you've always got to smile. I appreciate the fellows (teammates). They are starting to follow the same thing and don't let everybody see you frown, because that sets a bad image for yourself.

Question: What occurred at the players only meeting that you called towards the end of the summer?

Answer: It was about 31 days left until the first game, and I just felt that we had to come together as a team and get a lot of team chemistry going. I had a lot of fans hit me on the Facebook and MySpace telling me to get the team chemistry right, and it really made me sit back and think how Coach Spurrier was saying how we didn't have a lot of people coming to summer workouts. There wasn't always commitment, and I just felt that I wanted to take on a leadership role and just go out there and say something about it and hopefully my teammates would back me up and follow me and we could get this thing moving.

Question: Has the team sat down and set any goals for this year?

Answer: We always set goals. Coach Spurrier wants us to compete and win more games than we lose. Basically that's the main goal right now, to come together as a team and be able to compete when August 31 comes. It's right around the corner, and we still have a lot of things to get ready for, but we're going to get there.

Question: Do you have a message for all the Gamecock fans out there?

Answer: I'm back!

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