Boyd best Clairton player of all time
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The best thing about following the Clairton football program is watching all the outrageous talent that is on display. It never gets old.
Just when I thought I had seen it all a couple of years ago, the best of them all came along. He is why Clairton will claim its fourth straight WPIAL title when it battles Sto-Rox on Saturday morning at Heinz Field. His name is Tyler Boyd.
I have been lucky to see so many transcendent Clairton players over the past decade.
When Dana Brown rushed for more than 2,000 yards in 2004, he became an instant legend in Clairton, and would surely become the best player during the Tom Nola era.
Then, Kevin Weatherspoon came along. He was so smooth, so unflappable, so mature. Clairton had never seen a receiver like him. Weatherspoon had found a way to surpass Brown and would always be the best player of the Nola era.
And then came along Desimon Green, whose potential always seemed greater than his production. Of course, his talent was so supreme that he simply led Clairton to two state titles. Not bad. No one could surpass him, right?
When you watch No. 23 in the black and orange jersey at Heinz Field on Saturday, know that you are watching greatness. Boyd isn't just another Clairton great. He's the best player in Clairton history.
Save me the arguments about all the legends who have passed through Clairton. Yes, the school has produced immeasurable talent, NFL players, and many others who are remembered decades later. I realize that. But, that doesn't mean any of them were better than Boyd. If you don't believe me, just watch Saturday's game. He'll do something that will make your jaw drop.
In the first week of the season against Washington, Clairton welcomed back almost 1,000 graduates, many of whom were football greats. A handful of them played in the NFL. When Boyd was returning a punt for a long gain in that contest, you should have seen the former Clairton greats and the astonishment on their faces.
Boyd has the attributes of so many Clairton greats who have come before him. He possesses the raw power and explosiveness of Brown, the smoothness and maturity of Weatherspoon, and the pure talent that has scouts drooling, much like with Green.
Boyd also possesses a knack for the spotlight, and this is the attribute we will most remember when he is dominating at the college level and being drafted into the NFL.
Last year, when Clairton was trailing 24-0 in the PIAA championship game, it was Boyd who led the charge. He carried Clairton to that championship. There is simply no other way to describe it. As a sophomore, he willed his team to a title.
Last week was another fine example of his greatness. Playing against Rochester, the team Clairton secretly respects like none other, Boyd rushed for 200 yards and four touchdowns. Keep in mind, of course, that the original plan was to use him at wide receiver this season, until an injury to Karvonn Coles forced Boyd to play at tailback. He's a better wide receiver, which is scary enough, since he might rush for 2,000 yards this season.
Funny thing is, colleges don't even want Boyd for his offensive exploits. USC and Notre Dame — those are just a couple of the dozes of schools who badly want Boyd's services — covet him to play free safety.
Again, if you've seen him play defense, you understand.
The truth about this Clairton team is that, while it remains the favorite to win the WPIAL title and maybe the PIAA title again, it isn't as dominant as previous installments of the Bears. There isn't much depth, maybe not quite as much diversity. The play in the trenches certainly isn't as good.
But this team has Tyler Boyd.
There have been other great football players to come through the WPIAL in recent years. Rushel Shell is a star. Terrelle Pryor was a national celebrity at 17.
I'm not saying Boyd is that good, but I'm not saying he isn't.
He is a quiet star, a player who doesn't receive nearly the recognition that he deserves because he participates in Class A football.
Boyd does his talking on the football field, and he always performs in the biggest of games.
It's fitting that Boyd will be playing at Heinz Field on Saturday. It won't be the final time he performs in an NFL stadium.
How lucky we've been to watch him perform every Friday night.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers stalled by Seahawks, on outside of AFC wild-card picture
- Steelers’ Roethlisberger reported symptoms that led to his exit vs. Seahawks
- Steelers players say they support Tomlin’s attempts at deception
- Rossi: It’s past time for NFL to protect players
- Family of man accused of shooting St. Clair officer say allegations don’t fit his character
- Community comes together to mourn death of St. Clair police officer
- Week 12 — Steelers-Seahawks gameday grades
- Sports Deli is latest tenant to say goodbye to Parkway Center Mall
- Steelers notebook: Seahawks’ Sherman gets better of WR Brown
- Pennsylvania Game Commission reaps revenue from shale gas under game lands
- 40 years later, siblings of South Greensburg girl who disappeared still seek closure