On The Block: Cory Boyd

By Charlie Drafts 5/13/2013 | charlie@blockcblog.com

As far as Mr. Cory Boyd goes, he doesn't need much of an introduction.  I will do our best to convey the type of person and player Cory Boyd is and was.

Boyd was one of the hardest workers and hard-nosed running backs to ever play at South Carolina.  Cory Boyd gave everything out on the football field.  Despite being a very successful running back at Carolina, Boyd was also a great receiver and could always be counted on to catch the ball out the backfield and get you the tough extra yards.

Boyd is one of only four South Carolina players to have more than 1,000 yards rushing and at least 70 receptions. He finished his career at South Carolina as the 10th all time rusher with 2,267 yards and 28 touchdowns and 9th all time in receiving with 1,283 total yards. 

But, stats don't mean a whole lot when you watched number three play on Saturdays.  Every single play you knew you were going to get everything he had.  While it may be a proverbial statement, Cory Boyd did in fact leave everything on the field each time he put on a Gamecock uniform.

Cory was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 7th round in 2008 and injured his knee during Rookie Camp, which required surgery.  He was later cut and picked up by the Denver Broncos.  He was shuffled around with the Broncos and was able to make it on the active roster before later being cut.  After going to the CFL, the Toronto Argonauts  finally gave him opportunity to get on the field and he did what Gamecock fans expected him to do. He worked hard and was very successful.  During his first season he rushed for almost 1400 yards and 400 yards receiving even though he missed a few games due to injury. He won several post season awards that year including CFL's toughest player, his teams Most Outstanding player and also made the CFL East All-Star Team.  A few years later after another 1,000 plus yard rushing season and while leading the CFL in rushing he was released by the Argonauts.  He had another brief stint in the CFL for the Edmonton Eskimos.

We caught up with him to go On The Block for Block C Blog & Gamecock Nation.

BCB: You were able to play for both Lou Holtz and Steve Spurrier, two legendary football coaches. Tell us what you remember most about each one of them and is there any candid or personal moment or story that you'd like to share about either coach?

Boyd: "Playing for two legendary college football coaches was amazing. I had a great chance to experience two different perspectives on how the game was to be played. Only, Coach Lou Holtz was like a father figure to me. His style of coaching gave me belief to be a better man as well as a better athlete. I remember Coach Holtz always telling me that I was a very special and talented individual who would make a difference in the world. And for that I always said that he was the best Father figure/coach that I've ever played for."

Boyd: "Playing for Coach Steve Spurrier was a different ball game. His approach to the game helped me with perfecting my craft as an athlete. He taught me never to accept mediocrity in my game play. He kept me laughing because he never cared what or how others viewed him as a coach. His mission was more important than trying to satisfy anyone's feelings and if you weren't on board of the Gamecock ship you were gonna be left behind. Now because of that I know how to be a winner and a better me."

BCB: Take us back to getting drafted in 2008 to the NFL, how did you receive word that your were getting drafted and what was that moment like for you personally?

Boyd: "Honestly, getting drafted in 2008 wasn't the greatest moment of my football career. I was overlooked by many teams because of my young and immature ways during college. I was in a depressed state of mind during the draft because I felt like a loser the more the rounds pasted by and I wasn't off the board. For me it was a let down and I felt like I disappointed my family, friends and fans"

BCB: After getting drafted in the 7th round to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers you had an unfortunate knee injured during the 2008 rookie mini-camp and were later released. What was the injury and why do you think they were so quick to release you?

Boyd: "During rookie mini camp I tore my meniscus completely for the third time and needed surgery to repair it. While rehabbing I lost belief in myself and began to doubt my skills. Which later caused the Tampa Bay Bucs to question my health and commitment to the team, so they decided to move on."

BCB: If you could tell NFL scouts and GM’s one thing about Cory Boyd right now, what would it be?

Boyd: "Now the only thing I want NFL scouts and GM's to know about me is that yes I made some silly mistake but I'm only human. My mistakes are not who I am but it was what I did at that young age. My mishaps have taught me to a lot wiser, more humble and more appreciative of my blessings."

BCB: Tell us about your time for the Denver Broncos, they shuffled you around from practice squad to active roster and back to practice squad.  How close were you to getting valuable playing time and what were they telling you during the whole process? 

Boyd: "My experience on the Denver Broncos was a big turning point in my life. It was a time when I first started to recognize the politics of that came along with the game. Being shuffled around wasn't the best experience but I did start to learn how to be a pro athlete while being there. It was enlightening and encouraging when the coaches and other teammates would say I had great skill and talent that would keep me in a Denver Broncos uniform. Being a Denver Bronco was an amazing time and I'm just glad I had a chance to be apart of a great organization."

BCB: What was your most memorable game at The University of South Carolina?

Boyd: "The most memorable game that I have while playing at South Carolina was the 2006 rivalry game verse "Clemsux". LOL, we fought our tails off to the last second and when the kicker missed the field goal you could hear the life get sucked out of their stadium. You could hear a pin drop in Death Valley at that moment and for 365 days of the year we had the bragging right for the state of South Carolina in football. But the greatest feeling was when we returned home to see all the fans waiting to receive us with joy and celebration for what we just had achieved. It was an amazing site to see and be apart of."

BCB: When Gamecock fans hear the name Cory Boyd, there are tons of great memories of you carrying the ball but there is one play that instantly comes to mind. Your freshman year against Virginia. Can you take us back to the play were you “laid the wood” to the Cavaliers safety? It was a scary moment for both teams. What was going through your head at the time? See the play here.

Boyd:  "While playing this game of football I never think about getting injured but against the Virginia Cavs I did have a moment. All I could think about was please don't fumble that ball and please don't get hurt. When the play began I got tunnel vision and all I wanted to do was make contact with other player so I could get my jitters out. Sure enough that's what I did and that hit was my welcome to NCAA football baby."

BCB: You were released by the Toronto Argonauts during the 2012 season, while leading the league in rushing. It really doesn't make much sense. Can you elaborate on why you were released?  

Boyd: "As far as my recent release from my CFL teams I would just say it was just business as usual. Sometimes your up and other times your down. I only learned this when I was in Denver so I was prepared. God has a plan for me and He is just settling me up for either a better opportunity or a greater comeback."

BCB: Being a part of the 2003 recruiting class at South Carolina, you came in with the likes of Demetris Summers. Can you tell us what it was like to be in the backfield with such a highly touted freshman at the time?

Boyd: "When I first came to South Carolina I never looked at Demetrius Summers as a person I needed to challenge. We both recognized we had skills and talents that the team could use in our Freshman year. There were a lot of times him and I sat down and talked about we would take over the college football world as highly touted Freshmen. We were each others motivation, so there was no need for our pride and egos to get involved. We just wanted to play ball and make a difference."

BCB: As Carolina fans we believe that you have what it takes to make an NFL roster and make a contribution. Do you still believe you have what it takes?

Boyd: "We all question as athlete come to a point in our life where we ask ourselves do we still have it to play the game we love. Personally, I questioned that many times but now I know for a fact I can play in the NFL. All I need is another opportunity."

BCB: What is it like to play in the CFL vice the NFL? What is the atmosphere, fan base, and overall style of play like compared to the NFL?

Boyd: "The CFL game compared to the NFL is very similar.  The CFL is just like college football but now you get paid to play the game. The fan base is a lot smaller but they truly love their teams and adore their league. The fans are more like family rather than friends and that's why I never really wanted to leave. Playing here has changed my overall outlook on pro football but other than that there really isn't any big differences from CFL and NFL."

BCB: Coming from New Jersey, what was it that originally attracted you to play for South Carolina?

Boyd: "I was attracted to USC because it felt like home. I felt it was a place where I could let down my guard and become the man God created me to be."

BCB: If there is one thing you would like to say to Gamecock Nation, what would it be?

Boyd: "Thank you Gamecock Nation for believing in me and you guys helped in my development as a man. I will always Hail To Thee and every time I touch down on a football field I will always Go Fight, Win and Kick ass for my GC nation. Miss you Cocky and my second home."

Follow Cory on the rest of his journey here:
Official Website: http://cb3performance.com/
Blog: http://coryboydthejourney.wordpress.com/
Twitter: @KingBoyd03
Facebook: /CB3Official

By Charlie Drafts 8/16/2015