Kris Boyd: A Star in the Secondary

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In 2018, Tom Herman will lead a solid team built around All-American defense, an excellent recruiting haul including three of the nation’s top five-star safeties and several returning starters. Among these returning is senior cornerback Kris Boyd who will be without question one of Texas’ biggest contributors in the secondary.

Headed into his final season on the 40 acres, Boyd will do his best to stop every wide receiver who comes his way. “I try to go at it every day. I don’t want any balls caught,” says Boyd, who not only has experience but is also coming off of a tremendous 2017 season.

Before he even set foot on campus, Kris Boyd was already a star.  At Gilmer High School he played both defensive back and running back.  During his senior year, he not only had 1,052 yards to go along with 22 TDs on offense, but also recorded 43 tackles and 2 interceptions and received an invite to the US Army All-American Bowl. In addition to football, he also ran track. At the 2015 UIL 4A state meet the helped set a record in the 4x200 meter relay and placed second in the 100 meter dash. Following high school he committed to play at Texas and joined the Longhorn family just as his two cousins, Bobby Taylor and Curtis Brown, both NFL cornerbacks, had previously done.

While he wasn’t a starter during his freshman year, Boyd still found many ways to contribute.  He led in special teams tackles with four and as a returner had nine returns for more than 185 yards.  On one occasion he had two returns for 63 yards in the 30-27 loss to Oklahoma State, the most return yards in one game of his collegiate career.

His sophomore season had several firsts for Kris. He made one of the biggest and most crucial plays of the season when the Longhorns went head to head with Texas Tech.  With the clock ticking down and the Red Raiders threatening to score, Boyd picked off Patrick Mahomes in the end zone to give the Horns the victory and Boyd his first collegiate interception.

As with many other players on the team, the 2017 season was sure to be a challenging one. Tom Herman had just taken over the program and brought with him an entirely new staff. For Kris Boyd , it meant learning a new system and getting used to a different coaching style. By fall, however, Boyd was tearing up the field. In twelve games started, he not only tied for most interceptions on the team with two, but also had fifteen pass breakups. This was the most for any Longhorn since 2011.

Boyd’s play continued into bowl season. In the Texas Bowl win over Missouri he totaled three solo tackles and added a pass breakup. As the season came to a close, Boyd was rewarded for his efforts when he was named to the AP All-Big 12 team along with defensive counterparts Poona Ford, Malik Jefferson and Deshon Elliott.

The 2018 season is just weeks away and Kris Boyd will be a leader on a team that has high expectations. “I just try to lead by example,” Boyd says. “I try to keep improving with my team every week, every game.” Boyd, a player who is on the watch list for both the Nagurski and Thorpe awards, will without a doubt be a star in the secondary.

Riley Zayas

Riley Zayas is a high school sophomore and freelance journalist from Round Rock, Texas. He began his journalism career as a Sports Illustrated Kids reporter and has since become a regular contributor to Horns Illustrated, covering Texas Longhorn sports. His work also includes Fellowship of Christian Athletes publications, College Baseball Nation and Sports Spectrum, a national christian sports website. He currently serves as the Managing Editor of True To The Cru, covering UMHB athletics. Twitter: @ZayasRiley

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