|Boyd finds a mentor in Michael Vick|
|by David Hood - Senior Writer - Friday, August 2, 2013 12:34 PM||
The often-maligned quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles hails from the same area of Virginia as Boyd, and the reigning ACC Player of the Year is using Vick as a sounding board and as a mentor. After all, who better to tell you about the struggles of being a big-time quarterback and being in the public eye than someone who has been through it all?
Boyd told the media at the ACC Kickoff in Greensboro in late July that he has a sense of pride in being from an area of Virginia that produces a lot of talent, and talked to Vick early on his career and after Vick’s run-in with the authorities.
“I grew up in the Hampton Roads area,” Boyd said. “There were a lot of great quarterbacks: Allen Iverson, Ronald Curry, the Vicks (Michael and Marcus), Aaron Brooks, E.J. (Manuel), Tyrod (Taylor). I got a chance to talk to (Michael Vick) early on in my career and for whatever reason, we reached out to each other. He’s been great to talk to ever since. He is really insightful about a lot of things in life.”
In April 2007, Vick was implicated in an illegal interstate dog fighting ring that had operated for five years. In August 2007, he pleaded guilty to federal felony charges and served 21 months in prison, followed by two months in home confinement.
Since then, however, he has reclaimed a starting job in the NFL with the Eagles, and Boyd said having someone to talk to who has been “through the ringer” can’t be understated.
“The way he handled his situation and the way he responded shows the type of character he has,” Boyd said. “That was a pretty adverse time for him in that situation, but he handled it with class and did everything he possibly could do to make it right. I talked to him yesterday, and he’s like ‘It’s going to be a big year for you. I’m going to be here to talk to you.’ It’s good to talk to guys who have been through the ringer and come out and succeeded. Anytime you have a mentor, it helps.”
Last January, Boyd was struggling with his decision on whether to turn pro or return to Clemson for his senior season, and Vick told him to stay in school.
“He asked me, do I want to be the best? If you want to be the best, go back to school and do everything to make sure you can do that,” Boyd said. “I want to be the best player. I want us to be the best team we possibly can. Why not go out there and give one last shot at it? I don’t really want to live with regret, so I didn’t want to make that step and regret not coming back. The pressure you put on yourself is the worst thing you can do. This is a performance-based game and the only pressure that comes is from you. It’s all about going out there and playing at your highest level. If you’re confident in what you’re capable of doing, you’ll go out there and get it done.”
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