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WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2007
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Brewer High graduate Travis Boyd is productive in Troy University's spread offense. The Trojans are 7-3 and garnering votes for The Associated Press' top 25.
Courtesy photo
Brewer High graduate Travis Boyd is productive in Troy University's spread offense. The Trojans are 7-3 and garnering votes for The Associated Press' top 25.

Brewer grad making impact
Boyd finding niche for bowl-eligible Trojans

By Ronak Patel
sports@decaturdaily.com 340-2460

Take one look at Troy tight end Travis Boyd's statistics, and you may look in another direction. At first glance, the line isn't overly impressive: six catches, 52 receiving yards and one touchdown.

But take a look at some game footage of Troy's team, which stands at 7-3, including 5-0 in the Sun Belt Conference, and you notice how vital Boyd, a former Brewer High standout, is to the team. He's the one pulling around the left end, making a key block, or preventing the quarterback, Omar Haugabook, from getting pummeled.

And Boyd, a player who didn't get one Division I scholarship offer out of high school, would not have it any other way.

"I don't mind blocking," said Boyd, a sophomore majoring in mathematics. "I played tight end in high school as a sophomore and junior. So I enjoy playing the position."

Boyd, who prepped at Brewer from 2001-04 and played for three coaches (Glenn Lang, Robert Peppers and Billy Coleman), was a quarterback his senior year at Brewer. But despite having a solid frame — he stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 228 pounds — he didn't get the attention of college recruiters.

"I can't finger point to one reason why I didn't get noticed by other schools, but it happened that way," Boyd said. "Things work out great. I'm on a good team, a bowl-eligible team, and playing a lot. I'm not about holding grudges for being overlooked. All you can do is play and do the best you can for your team.

"I would be selfish if I thought, 'Oh, I wasn't recruited by a big school.' That's not important. What's important is winning the bowl game and winning the conference."

Boyd was recruited by several Division II schools before Troy head coach Larry Blakeney came calling one day.

"I believe his call came when I was watching the Super Bowl or an NFL playoff game," Boyd recalled. "He gave me a chance to compete as an invited walk-on."

Boyd redshirted his first year. Last season, he saw action in one game as a wide receiver. But Boyd's biggest treat came at the beginning of this season, when he was offered a scholarship. "It was a relief," Boyd said. "It helped me out, and got my family out of a tight spot of paying for college because my parents are putting my brother (Rusty) through college as well."

Boyd, who has started three games this season, made the go-ahead touchdown reception in Troy's 48-31 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette in late September. Although he has caught only one pass in the past five games, Boyd is happy with his role in Troy's spread offense.

"It's a little bit tough at times, but in the spread offense, our main job is to block and create open lanes for our quarterback to throw the ball," Boyd said.

Troy's offense has put up many points on some of the nation's bigger names.

In fact, Troy's three losses this season have come at the hands of SEC's teams — Arkansas (46-26), Florida (59-31) and Georgia (44-34). According to Boyd, playing those teams gives his squad confidence.

"We played those teams evenly, especially Georgia, where we had a great chance to win," Boyd said.

Despite playing in the shadows of Alabama and Auburn, Boyd said he believes Troy is not far from the two schools in terms of performance. "We have just as many wins as they (Auburn and Alabama) do, played Georgia in Athens slightly better than Auburn did, and we also defeated a Big 12 team (Oklahoma State)," Boyd said.

"People have started to take notice, and we know can play in this state and on that level."

Boyd, who was part of just three victories at Brewer, is savoring the winning times at Troy. "It's been great," he said. "We have a close-knit team, and it's fun winning with friends. No one wants to lose."

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