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Boyd a key in Vandy success
by Chase Wallace
cwallace@neighbornewspapers.com
December 26, 2012 12:05 AM | 1957 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Special / Vanderbilt -- Former Roswell Hornet wide receiver Chris Boyd (80) will lead Vanderbilt into the Music City Bowl against NC State on Dec. 31. Boyd, a sophomore at Vanderbilt, has scored 12 touchdowns and has nearly 1,300 yards receiving in his two years playing for the Commodores.
Special / Vanderbilt -- Former Roswell Hornet wide receiver Chris Boyd (80) will lead Vanderbilt into the Music City Bowl against NC State on Dec. 31. Boyd, a sophomore at Vanderbilt, has scored 12 touchdowns and has nearly 1,300 yards receiving in his two years playing for the Commodores.
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When he made his decision to play football at Vanderbilt, Chris Boyd heard the naysayers.

The Commodores had long been an afterthought in the Southeastern Conference and, to some, his commitment to play for a team that played in just four bowl games in their 118-year history would be filled with frustration and losses.

But his three years on the Nashville campus have been just the opposite.

As an individual, the 6-foot-5 receiver made an immediate impact when he stepped on the field as a redshirt freshman in 2011, leading the Commodores in touchdowns and finishing second on the team with 473 yards receiving. 2012 has been even better, as a primary option for quarterback Jordan Rodgers, Boyd has hauled in 46 balls for 756 yards — including a career high 110 yards performance against the University of Georgia in September.

As a team, the his play has sparked uncharted prosperity for his Vanderbilt team. Going 6-6 last year and 8-4 this season, the Commodores qualified for back-to-back bowl games for the first time in school history and posted a winning record (5-3) in SEC play this fall for the first time since 1982.

“It’s been a tremendous experience to be a part of this team,” said Boyd, a 2010 graduate of Roswell High School that chose Vanderbilt over offers from Georgia Tech, Illinois, and many other Division-I programs. “People always told me I should go somewhere where football was a bigger deal than Vanderbilt, but I believed in this school, believed in this team and my three years here have been amazing.”

After redshirting as a freshman in 2010, Boyd made his name known at Vanderbilt in his first career game against Elon, catching a pair of touchdown passes in the Commodores season opener. As a reserve for much of the season he was used mainly as a red zone target before eventually working his way into the starting lineup at the Liberty Bowl against Cincinnati — a 31-24 loss highlighted by Boyd’s team-leading eighth touchdown grab of his freshman season.

As a sophomore Boyd has started all 12 games — catching at least one pass in each — for a Vanderbilt team that has a chance to win nine games for the first time since 1915.

“The fact that we have turned things around here is amazing and it’s been really exciting to be a part of. But we also still have bigger things to accomplish this season and in the future,” said Boyd, who will take the field for the final time as a sophomore on Dec. 31 against North Carolina State in the Music City Bowl.

“The sky is the limit for us.”

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