Cory Boyd: Senior Leader Meets the Media

With thousands of reporters stalking the Wynfrey Hotel for SEC Media Days in Hoover, Alabama, coaches and players were left scurrying for exits. Then there was Cory Boyd. With his usual smile and loud yellow suit, Boyd cut left then right amongst the crowd without stiff arming anyone. He's a leader now, a senior, and an appearance at SEC Media Days is only the beginning.

"I'm always happy with my decisions," said Boyd, referring to his decision to stay at South Carolina rather than go on to the NFL. "I got to be a leader to these other guys. Jasper (Brinkley) and I both made this decision. It feels good to come back for that fifth year."

Being a leader is not just a job while in pads; it also means helping the team believe that Coach Spurrier's goals are attainable. A born leader, Boyd's outspoken nature makes the younger players look up to him regardless.

"The younger guys coming in can really look forward to doing things for the first time. Coach Spurrier is big on that," said Boyd, "You can't win something unless you really install it in your mind, and that's what he's doing."

More leadership showed through when asked about the keys to success, "We all have to understand that we're gonna have our ups and downs, but what keeps us strong is our togetherness, and the belief that we have in each other, in our coaches and in our program."

But Boyd has always been like this. He's learned lessons along the way, been seemingly pushed aside by previous coaches, yet he kept on coming back. If this isn't leading by example, then what is?

"We stay strong with each other and try to encourage each other. We don't put each other down, and we don't leave each other out from the situation. We try to build around any situation and see what we can do better."

The attitude displayed by Cory Boyd and Jasper Brinkley, both projected as fourth or fifth round NFL draft picks this past year, is what Spurrier wants all of his players to have.

"(Jasper and Cory) elected to stay," said Spurrier, "Hopefully they'll graduate and help us have the big year that we can. I admire both those guys."

As for Cory, selling his teammates on the "Why Not Us?" mentality, he raves, "I have to say, hands down, this is the best summer workout that I've ever been around. We don't second guess the coaches or the program. Everyone is committed to greatness. Hopefully the hard work will pay off this time, and the ball will bounce our way a few times in the close games."

Much has been made of the offensive line inadequacies. Coach (John) Hunt and Coach Spurrier have been asked about it a thousand times, but progress from the veiwpoint of one of the guys who relies on them the most is insightful.

"Yeah, I mean I know they are all working hard. I know that. I know they are really working on starting strong. Right out of the gate, they're starting strong," said Boyd.

He's not just a leader to the juniors and sophomores. He has a tremendous influence on what's being dubbed "South Carolina's best incoming class ever."

"I just make sure they all know that this isn't high school anymore. You can't just do what you want. We have a way to do things. We listen to our coaches," he said, "They know better. After all, I've played for two of the greatest coaches of all time. You work hard and you do as you're told. High school is gone, man."

When it comes to mindset, the Gamecocks are like Cory's high school theory. The old stuff is gone. This is a new beginning. This is where they strive for greatness. They can win the conference title, period.

To discuss this article, visit GamecockAnthem's premium forum - The Golden Spur.

Gamecock Anthem Top Stories