Clairton's Boyd sticks with Pitt
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Only hours before a scheduled news conference during which Clairton senior Tyler Boyd was expected to sign a letter of intent to play at Pitt, Bears teammate Titus Howard saw a message on his phone.
It was Boyd. It was late, and he wanted to talk.
So Howard walked the block down Reed Street to Third Street to Boyd's house. After a few minutes, they called another Clairton teammate, Terrish Webb, and the conversation intensified.
"We just started to talk about these schools and said we need to make a decision," Howard said.
With Howard and Webb firmly committed to Pitt, the conversation turned to Boyd's decision.
"We were putting it all out there," Webb said.
Although Boyd, a four-star recruit at wide receiver, verbally committed to Pitt more than a month ago, he had been considering West Virginia and Tennessee since taking official visits over the past few weeks.
"We were sitting around all night talking and trying to weigh the pros and cons of each school and really didn't have a decision until after midnight," Boyd said. "It just came down to playing together. We couldn't pass that up."
Boyd stuck to his verbal commitment to the Panthers, which he made during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in January, by signing a letter of intent Wednesday to join Howard and Webb at Pitt.
"Pitt just outweighed every school," Boyd said.
Boyd gets to compete with the guys he has played with since he was 6 years old, who helped Clairton to a state-record 63 consecutive wins, including four straight WPIAL and state championships.
"I am very happy to get this over and done with," said Boyd's mother, Tonya Payne. "I am even more happy with his decision. Staying together is really important to all of them."
It almost didn't happen.
When he gave Pitt a verbal commitment, Boyd said he planned to take visits to Michigan State and Tennessee. He later canceled and appeared to be set on Pitt.
But Boyd surprised many by making official visits to West Virginia and Tennessee on back-to-back weekends at the end of January.
"They were telling me everything I wanted to hear. I am so glad it is over," Boyd said. "Thinking back to that Army All-American game, I probably should've waited it out and not committed. I didn't think it was going to be so hard and have so much pressure. I was losing my mind and didn't know what to do."
Boyd's mother said the past two weeks have been difficult on her son, something Webb also noticed.
"You could tell that it was stressing him," Webb said. "That's why I didn't pressure him into doing anything. He was going to make the decision that was best for him."
Boyd can help Panthers coach Paul Chryst's team immediately and in many ways. Boyd said the Pitt coaches plan to use him in a variety of packages, including possibly as a Wildcat quarterback.
"I think he is one, from what he has shown on tape and talking with him and his understanding of football," Chryst said. "I think we can put a lot on his plate, certainly find a number of different ways to get a guy like him involved.
"I think he is a special person and a guy who will help this team. Because of that you wanted him here. Until you got that fax ... He was a guy you pictured he could help your team in a lot of ways."
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 WPIAL record with 117 career touchdowns.
"I am happy with my decision," Boyd said, "and I am glad I made it."
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.
- Penguins see Stars, blanked by Dallas in opening game
- Police: Woman, 18, pretended to be student, assaulted Perry principal
- Steelers quarterback Vick getting more acquainted with offense
- Starkey: Pirates gaining bad big-game rep
- Pirates notebook: Fastball command issues hurt Cole against Cubs
- Kennametal HQ relocation rankles Westmoreland County business leadership
- Steelers hoping to establish run early against San Diego
- A field day on social media as Pirates’ Rodriguez attacks Gatorade cooler
- What’s old is new at Toll Gate Revival in Lawrenceville
- School supplies, equipment on the auction block in former Kittanning school gym
- Clerical error blamed as Armstrong inmate is released