When we launched this new series about big school gems, we covered a utility stud, in Tyler Scalzi of Texas-Tech. This week we decided to stay on the same type of road and introduce you to a player whom could play multiple positions in the NFL.
Jeremy Boykins of the University of Central Florida, is exactly what scouts look for in a defensive back prospect. With great size (6’2, 190 lbs) and speed (4.39 40-yard dash time), Boykins, stands out as an athletic playmaker.
The Jacksonville native is one half of a twin set (Jerod Boykins) filled with talent. We will get to him later, but we sat down with Jeremy and asked him about his time at UCF, and who he was outside of football.
“Outside of football….I feel like I am just a very chilled guy. I love working on myself and trying to be the best version of myself I can be. I don’t ever feel comfortable staying stagnant as a person. Even if I was the best player in the world, I would want to keep working on getting better.
I try to keep my downtime as relaxed as possible. I don’t waste my time doing things that could hurt me, or hurt the team. I love my guys so I wouldn’t want to be a problem and I do things that will be productive. I really love fashion, I love the different looks, I love to look good…I mean not in a arrogant way, but in a way that I feel good about myself. I always try to keep up with the latest trends, to find the hot stuff, but still be myself, and do my own thing.”
It says something about his character.. that in a day and age where everyone wants to fit in, Jeremy, has the confidence to be his own man. On the field, he isn’t such a nice guy, we asked him about his approach to the game.
“When I first got to UCF, I was a bit in awe, or wide eyed. The stadium was huge, the crowd was huge, the lights shining, it can all be a scary thing…but as soon as I got on the field, I was ready to ball out. I love it out there, I love the stress or the pressure, I don’t ever really feel it.”
Boykins amassed 21 tackles, a sack and a pass break-up in eight games during the 2015 season. He’d go on to rack up 14 more and deflect 3 more passes in his final season at UCF. Although the stats don’t pop off the paper, the reason why is due to the variety of roles played. He went on to tell me about his fit in the NFL.
“I feel like I can play outside, Nickel, Dime, and both safety spots, really both me and my brother (Jerod) can play these spots. I feel like what I do well, is attack being a nickel, and with my size I can use it to be aggressive with a slot WR.
A lot of guys I see out there, they are intimidated when playing inside. You have a lot of field to cover when you play outside so the better corners know how to use the sideline to their advantage. It is easier to me, playing outside, but inside, you have to move well, have quick feet and an understand how to play in traffic.
I love the challenge and I feel like I thrive in the spot. I want the pressure, I will play anywhere a coach wants me, and I will do it at a high level.”
When you watch the tape, you see a guy who can really thrive at all spots. You see a guy, who has the talent and skill set to be a true steal in this years Draft. We asked Jeremy, why he has gone so unnoticed amongst prospects this year, to this he simply stated.
“I don’t know and honestly I don’t care, I don’t care where I get drafted, when all that doesn’t matter. I will get a chance and I will be the best me out there I can. Whatever team that picks me up, will be getting the hardest working guy possible.”
It is no shock by now, that the Eagles, need help in their secondary. So when you look at a prospect like Jeremy Boykins, you see a guy who could fill multiple spots, including both the outside, and nickel position. In addition too, he could be a strong depth player at safety, and serve as a true special teams ace.
Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports