PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) — After having tremendous success as a multiple state champion at Clairton High School, Pitt receiver Tyler Boyd is a leader again as a sophomore.
“I think the young guys look at us,” Boyd said, “as the role models and the guys that’s going to give them the best advise. And I’m going to lead them.”
Boyd set Pitt freshman records for receptions and yards last year, beating those set by All-Pro Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald. Boyd worked with now Houston Texans quarterback Tom Savage last year, but this season it’s red shirt sophomore Chad Voytik.
“He was ready to come out here and lead us,” Boyd said. “I feel like he’s fine and we trust him.”
The only game they played together was the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl when Boyd caught 8 passes for 173 yards.
The sophomore will have to play without Pitt’s all-time leader in receptions on the other side, Devin Street is gone as is receiver Ed Tinker. But tight end Manasseh Garner has slimmed down and is moving to receiver and high school teammate Kevin Weatherspoon, freshman Adonis Jennings and a trio of talented tight ends should help make up for the loss.
“The defense won’t have to just key on me,” Boyd said, adding, “I feel like we have just more than me and (Garner) to make plays.”
He caught 117 career touchdowns in high school and 1,174 yards as a college freshman, but Boyd feels he can get much better.
“I ain’t perfect, so I need to improve on everything I do,” he said. “I feel like we’re at our peak, but I feel like we need a little more push.”
And that should ramp up Tuesday during a team scrimmage on the South Side.
“We just go out and battle like we’re a different team and they’re a different team,” Boyd said. “We want to make sure we don’t kill each other, but we want to go out there complete and get the best from each other.”
“I thought the defense did a good job early in the scrimmage against the run,” said Head coach Paul Chryst. “And offensively I thought it was an example of little things – how they can have a big effect on a play, whether it’s a back hitting a designed hole, or a lineman just finishing. I thought we played the run better in the first half of the scrimmage than the second. If it was a game, I don’t think we’d have been real happy with it. I think there were some good things on tape where, if we clean it up, we’ll be good.”
Chryst on the Opener
Panthers open the season Saturday, Aug. 30 hosting Delaware. The third-year head coach was asked if he’s comfortable with where the team is.
“I’m never (comfortable),” he said. “We’ve got a lot to do. I like where the guys are working. We have to maximize this week in a big way, and obviously start with the preparation for Delaware. To say ‘comfortable’ right now, no. I’m not. We’ll get there if we stay on this track, but we have work to do.”