Clairton wide receiver Boyd commits to Pitt

| Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, 1:42 p.m.

It may have taken a couple of extra weeks, but Pitt finally landed a highly recruited WPIAL wide receiver.

At least for now.

Clairton's Tyler Boyd made a verbal commitment to Pitt on Saturday during the first quarter of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl at Alamodome in San Antonio, just two weeks after Central Valley's Robert Foster surprised many by choosing Alabama over Pitt.

However, Boyd, who has about 30 scholarship offers, still plans to take at least two more official visits — to Michigan State and Tennessee — over the next four weeks.

He will visit Michigan State on Jan. 18 and has yet to confirm a date to visit Tennessee.

Verbal commitments are nonbinding until signing day Feb. 6. Boyd said he will make his decision final following those last two visits.

Even though a long shot to land Boyd, Penn State coach Bill O'Brien has asked for a face-to-face meeting before signing day.

“(Pitt) felt right,” Boyd said. “I'm just trying to help my city get more exposure and try to win a championship.”

Boyd's only official visit was to Pitt in November. He has taken unofficial visits to Penn State, West Virginia, Southern Cal and Ohio State.

Flanked by his mother, Tonya Payne, Clairton coach Tom Nola and others, Boyd selected a Pitt hat over West Virginia and Michigan State during the nationally televised game.

Boyd started at receiver for the East squad and finished with one catch for 4 yards. He was targeted on a deep ball, but it fell incomplete.

The East beat the West, 15-8.

Boyd became the 22nd commitment for Pitt's 2013 recruiting class and sixth from the WPIAL — Clairton defensive back Titus Howard, South Fayette receiver Zach Challingsworth, Belle Vernon offensive lineman Dorian Johnson, Seton-La Salle tight end Scott Orndoff and Gateway tight end Jaymar Parrish are the others. Boyd, ranked as a four-star recruit by many recruiting services, was one of the most sought-after players in the WPIAL after leading Clairton to a state-record 63 consecutive wins, including four straight WPIAL and state championships.

Boyd (6-foot-2, 175 pounds) was forced to play running back the past two years out of necessity and put together two stellar seasons.

He rushed for 2,584 yards, caught 12 passes for 218 yards and scored 51 touchdowns this past season. He was named the Tribune-Review and Pennsylvania Sportswriters Class A player of the year.

Boyd finished his career with 5,755 yards rushing, good for fifth place on the WPIAL all-time list. He also set a district record with 117 career touchdowns.

Boyd could push for playing time right away at Pitt. The Panthers lose two of their top receivers from this year's team in Mike Shanahan and Cameron Saddler.

Boyd already has qualified academically to compete as a freshman.

His verbal commitment makes four Clairton players at Pitt — Boyd, Howard, Trenton Coles and Kevin Weatherspoon. Terrish Webb was offered a scholarship in November and soon is expected to make a verbal commitment to the Panthers.

“All my brothers are at Pitt,” Boyd said. “I am just trying to join the family.”

Staff writer Jerry DiPaola contributed. Mark Kaboly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @MarkKaboly_Trib.

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