Gamecocks chasing 4-star wide receiver

With 26 offers to his credit, Ashbrook (Gastonia, NC) 4-star wide receiver Jheranie Boyd is one of the hottest commodities in the southeast right now. While Boyd does not have a top group of schools yet, USC coaches Ray Rychleski and Steve Spurrier Jr. have the Gamecocks firmly in the mix for the explosive playmaker. Read inside for a full report on the current state of Boyd's recruitment.

Boyd, who sports an incredible 44-inch vertical leap, has offers from schools such as Florida, Michigan, Alabama, Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Oregon, Florida State, NC State, North Carolina, Maryland, South Carolina, Clemson, and Wake Forest and has had coaches from multiple programs by his school recently.

"Last Thursday Maryland and Auburn came, and then my fourth period class Southern Cal and Oregon were there at the same time and they watched me practice," Boyd said. "It's basically the same (recruiting pitch) from everybody, that I can play early with my abilities and everything. I'll play the ‘X' position. A lot of teams seem to say that I'll get on the field as a freshman. Really the only team that said I wouldn't is Wake Forest; they redshirt everybody."

Boyd says that he is not the typical tall, lanky receiver or a smaller, speedy slot guy, but a combination of the two.

"A lot of people say I'm physical. I'm not real tall, but not real short. I can just go up and catch the ball like a (big) guy, and have the speed like a slot receiver. I try to be aggressive. I like to block. I think I have everything you need in a receiver."

Boyd did plenty of blocking in Ashbrook's old power-running offensive scheme they ran for years, but will get the chance to catch more balls in the new spread offense they are installing this year. Having a dynamic receiver like Boyd to get the ball to was a big reason for the change in offensive philosophy, according to Ashbrook Head Coach Mike Briggs.

"We're going to the spread. It's coming along real good," Boyd said. "I know teams last year, some double-teamed, (and) some took a chance and just put one corner on me. This year they won't be able to do that, because I'll be off the line, moving, so there's no way teams can probably double-team me. That should work out real good."

Even in the run-based offense Boyd was able to bring down 47 passes for 1,151 yards and 11 touchdowns last season. While he is looking forward to playing in the more pass-happy spread offense Ashbrook will run next year, he believes learning to block early in his high school career will pay dividends early in his college career.

"My sophomore year I liked the offense, but everyone knew what we were going to do. They knew it was going to be run three times, then pass," Boyd said. "I blocked a lot last year. I think I blocked and caught a lot of passes, evenly. (Coaches) see the highlight tape of my blocks and everything, so they really like that."

Boyd has taken his all-around game to North Carolina, South Carolina, Clemson, Wake Forest, and NC State for unofficial visits so far, and plans summer visits to Florida, Florida State, Alabama, Illinois, Maryland, and Auburn.

The nation's no. 31-ranked receiver according to will take to the road again Friday for a return trip to Columbia, SC. USC tight ends coach and special teams coordinator Ray Rychleski is Boyd's official recruiter of record, but wide receivers coach Steve Spurrier Jr. has handled the bulk of the recruiting with Boyd. The 6'3", 185-pounder had nothing but positive things to say about Spurrier Jr. and the offense the Gamecocks run.

"He fits my personality. I like talking to him. I know he's a real good coach, given his dad. I like him a lot," he said. "They pass a lot. They throw the ball, that's the one thing I like. They want me real bad."

Boyd, who wants to major in communications, got to see the Gamecocks practice the last time he visited USC, but hopes to see more of what they have to offer this time around.

"The last time I went down there when they were practicing. I saw their football facility (and) the weight room. I want to see the campus and everything. I want to see the academics and how they are when I go down there Friday."

Boyd is still wide open in his recruitment and does not know why recent reports leaked that Clemson had a big lead for him and rumors swirled that he would ultimately sign with Clemson.

"I have no idea why they have been saying that. I think I talked to (Clemson verbal commitment Devonte) Holloman, because Coach Napier wanted me to call him. I called him, and I had left the house and came back like two hours later and they were saying that he said I was going to commit to Clemson this summer on the radio," Boyd said. "I don't know where they get that stuff that I'm a definite for Clemson. Clemson is just as dead-even as anybody else."

Boyd is working at this time to learn as much about all the schools interested in him, so he can release a top 10 list this summer.

"Right now, I'm still trying to get a for-sure top 10. Some are taken out, because I know I'm not going to probably get playing time as a freshman. It's switching around. But I'm just trying to get it down to a for-sure top 10 by the end of this month."

The four-star receiver hopes to graduate early and enroll in January at the school of his choice. If he looks on pace to do so, he says he will likely verbally commit during his senior season. If things don't work out, and he can't graduate early, then Boyd says he will likely wait all the way until signing day.

While Boyd is not ready to announce any of the teams in his top 10, he did have some positive remarks about the Gamecocks' chances of making the cut.

"Yeah, I mean South Carolina is way up there. South Carolina is one of my favorite colleges, so far."

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