Lake Dallas cornerback Kobe Boyce visited Texas Tech this past weekend to check out one of the schools which has been showing him significant interest.
"The trip went really great. We got there and I thought it was gonna be a junior day but it was just me and one other guy there, he's from El Paso. I went to the practice and I liked how they ran things, I like the scheme they run. I enjoyed the practice. Then after that we toured the school, we talked to the academic advisor and she was real great, she really got my attention there. Then we got to look at the stadium and the stadium was really nice, I really liked it."
Surprisingly, location is one of the biggest things working in Texas Tech's favor in Boyce's recruitment.
"I just like the area of Lubbock. I've been over there a long time ago. I just like the college town, I like the atmosphere over there, especially since I got to see the athletics this time. I only got to see the dorms and stuff when I was there a long time ago. I got to see the training facility. I just love the town of Lubbock.I like being close to home. I don't want my parents to have to drive more than like seven hours to a game or something like that."
While on the unofficial visit, the 6-foot-1, 180-pound prospect got to spend some quality time with the defensive coaching staff.
"I was with coach Scott, the new corners coach. He was with us half the time we were touring the school. I feel like it was a good relationship there. I talked to David Gibbs earlier, during the spring practice, and that was cool. He's a really good guy. All the coaches are amazing. I had a great time, and just getting to know the coaches and stuff, it was great. The coaching staff is really laid back and cool, they get after it, and they've got something special going on up there. It would be really cool to be a part of it."
The class of 2017 prospect got to see how the coaches operate firsthand as he watched Tech's first spring practice.
"I think that was the first practice, but they looked real sharp. Really they were just getting down the basics, the fundamentals and all that. But they did do 7-on-7, 1-on-1s and all that. That was really cool since the only time I see 1-on-1s are in high school. Seeing it on the college level was cool, everything's faster. Then they did team, it was cool looking at that. It was very exciting. The intensity was really high."
Boyce was particularly impressed by defensive coordinator David Gibbs' coaching style.
"Meeting him in person, I thought he'd be like crazy and yelling all the time, but he was laid-back and I like the way he coaches. You can tell that the defense has gotten a lot better with him there. He was telling me how the turnover rate shot up after he got there and he's looking forward to making the turnover rate go up higher this season. I just like the way he coaches, I like his style and he's a good guy, a laid-back guy."
New cornerbacks assistant Karl Scott was another coach that spent a lot of quality time with Boyce.
"He's cool, he's very detailed. When we went over how they run their defense in his office, he showed me what they ran and how their schemes are, because they run a Cover 3. He's really detailed and will teach you any way. I'm a visual learner, he will take me out and show me how to do it. He got up and showed me how to turn, what to do when a receiver comes inside or outside. He's just a really detailed guy and that really helps me because I need things to be detailed."
The prospect explained about how he fits into the defensive scheme they run at Lake Dallas.
"We run a 3-4 and we run a Cover 4 mostly, a Cover 4 Read. For the corners, what I do, if there's two receivers on my side and the second receiver runs a five-yard out or a bubble, I break on it. If the receiver keeps running or runs a post, that's the safety but I squeeze on number one if number two goes to the other side of the field. I just react to what number two does.We run man [coverage], it's either man or [Cover] 4. I ran [Cover] 3 at my old school, but I haven't ran that in a while. I still remember, because coach Scott didn't know whether I knew [Cover] 3, I hadn't run it in like a year. He was just reminding me of it."
Even in the brief time they had on the visit, Boyce felt like he learned a lot about Texas Tech's defense from coach Scott.
"I feel like I could fit in pretty good in that scheme. I felt like I got it down really quick, more than he thought I would. I told him I was visual, but the way he explained it I got it as soon as he told me. Then he gave me a little quiz on it, like if we had two receivers, if one broke out what would you do in this situation - from Tech's standpoint and what they run. I caught on to it and definitely feel like I could be a part of it."
Quality defensive backs are at a premium in the Big 12, where seemingly every school runs a high-octane offense with multiple receivers capable of making game-breaking plays. Boyce thinks he'd be right at home.
"I feel like I can compete up there. I know they have top receivers in the Big 12 and it's just an offensive shoot-out. I want to showcase my talent and show people that I can compete with the receivers in the Big 12 and really any conference."
Texas Tech hasn't offered yet, but the junior is confident he will receive an offer this spring during the coaches' evaluation period.
"They wanted to see me first, they didn't expect me to be as tall as I was. They were like, as soon as we see you run, we're gonna pull the trigger and offer you. That's what David Gibbs said. Probably during spring ball. Hopefully soon."
Aside from Texas Tech, who are some other schools that have entered the fray for his services?
"OU's been recruiting me for a bit, they really like me, I think an offer could come in pretty soon. Texas has been recruiting me hard, coach Haley was saying an offer's coming in soon. I've just got to keep on balling, that's what he said. Of course, Tech. University of Houston, we've been talking a lot. TCU. Those are the main schools that have been talking to me so far. Most of them are in the Big 12."
While there are some pretty significant names on that list, one school from the SEC is standing out the most.
"It's pretty early for me to be putting out a top list of schools. On my mind right now, I'm just thinking about Texas, Cal, Baylor, Tech, OU, Arkansas. It was weird because Arkansas, I never expected them to offer me this quick. They've been on my top list since like sophomore year, if I ever wanted to go to a school for football, Arkansas was on that list and they offered me, so I have strong interest in them."
Boyce also spoke about the timeline for his recruitment, indicating he'd like to hold off until later this year to commit.
"I don't want to wait until Signing Day. I probably want to commit, if the recruiting process goes as planned, in the summer or after my senior football season. That just depends on how the process goes, how it turns out."
Prospects obviously commit to schools for different reasons, and academics are very important to the Lake Dallas Falcon.
"I want to go to a school that really wants you to graduate. Just a school that treats me like a student. Not put on a pedestal or anything, I just want to be a student and play ball. I don't want a lot of distractions. I want to major in Communications or Journalism, I'm still trying to figure that out."
Boyce holds offers from Arkansas, Iowa State, Colorado State, UTSA, and New Mexico. He reports interest from Baylor, Houston, Oklahoma, SMU, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, and TCU, among others.