Part three of our five-part series introducing fans to soon-to-be impact players that will eventually become household names reveals possibly the hardest working player in the game – Jarrett Boykin.
Boykin, a 6-2, 218-pound 24-year-old wide receiver from the University of Virginia Tech got his start at Butler High School in Charlotte, N.C.
As you will find, Boykin is a player who improves with every given opportunity. While a junior in high school he only caught 22 balls, good for 476 yards and 3 touchdowns. Boykin’s senior season saw his stats triple in most categories. In his final campaign at Butler he hauled in 60 balls for 1,252 yards and 17 touchdowns. Boykin also added 176 yards and an additional 8 touchdowns on the ground.
Jarrett Boykin tracks down a Scott Tolzien pass last November against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Raymond T. Rivard photograph
Most scouts listed Jarrett Boykin as a three-star recruit. This was good enough to garner offers from the likes of Illinois, South Carolina and the school that landed @BoyKinHeCatch, Virginia Tech.
Boykin showed his hard working mentality in his collegiate career by increasing his receptions each year. In his freshman year he caught 30 passes for 441 yards and 2 touchdowns. As a sophomore Boykin caught 40 passes but his yards almost doubled to 835 and nearly tripling his touchdowns with 5.
His senior year with the Hokies saw him set the school record for both receptions and receiving yards. Another key component Boykin brings to the table is his toughness – a player who started every game during his junior and senior year in college. This is an aspect of the game that can’t be stressed enough after the last couple of seasons for the Packers.
Still, as the Hokies leader in yards and receptions Boykin was predicted to go undrafted even with an invite to the combine.
Most scouts said Boykin had good size, balance, body control and outstanding leaping ability. They also added he was slow off of blocks, average to get out of coverage and had inconsistent hands.
Unfortunately, Jarrett Boykin did go undrafted but was signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars as an undrafted free agent. Soon after the Jags signed Boykin they released him in May 2012.
One team’s “garbage” soon become another team’s gold when Boykin was signed by the Green Bay Packers. He ultimately ended up making the Packers roster.
Fast forward to the 2013 season that saw the Packers’ receiving corps depleted by injuries. Insert Jarrett Boykin, in his first start against the Cleveland Browns on Oct. 20. Relishing in the opportunity his play was that of a premier wide receiver, snatching 8 balls for 103 yards and a touchdown.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jarrett Boykin. Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Boykin ultimately filled in and helped the Packers’ reach the playoffs with 49 catches, 681 yards and 3 touchdowns. Vastly improving on his 2012 stats that was limited on opportunities.
Making a case for Jarrett Boykin is easy given the evidence he has provided over his career. Improving year after year and making the most of every chance given should be important characteristics when evaluating the talent of a football player.
Boykin has improved every year at every level of football he has ever participated in.
2014 could be a huge year and a huge opportunity for Jarrett Boykin. James Jones is no longer in the picture and if a Randall Cobb or Jordy Nelson contract doesn’t get signed and sealed before or during the season, (fingers and toes crossed both do) Boykin could capitalize in a big way.
Most Packers fans have penciled in Davante Adams as the number three receiver along with the possibility of Jared Abbrederis and even seventh round pick Jeff Janis pushing for playing time.
Don’t count out Jarrett Boykin. Boykin’s ability to stay on the field and catch the ball down field with his incredible leaping ability could be a dynamic duo coupled with a full season of #12 Aaron Rodgers throwing him the ball.
Let’s not forget Boykin burst onto the scene with a “MASH Squad” of quarterbacks getting him the ball. What can he do with the greatest quarterback and by far the most accurate quarterback in the game throwing him the ball?
2014, a season in which Jarrett Boykin could become another star for the Green and Gold.