LB Derek Boykins (6-2 215) of Concord, NC is one of the top prospects in the Tar Heel state for the 2019 class with offers from USC, Clemson, Tennessee, Louisville, Texas A&M, Duke, North Carolina, NC State, Wake Forest and East Carolina. He has South Carolina roots and that background has given one of the Palmetto State teams a boost in his recruiting.
“I grew up a Gamecock,” said Boykins who lived in Beaufort until the age of six and would have attended Battery Creek High School. “I’ve got a South Carolina wallet, had a DJ Swearinger jersey, had a Marcus Lattimore jersey, had a little shirt that had Conner Shaw on it. When they play, I’m going to root for them. It does help them a little bit, it does, I ain’t going to lie.”
Boykins visited USC about a month ago and had an extensive meeting with Will Muschamp in his office.
“He’s a real great man,” Boykins said. “Talked to him, talked a little bit of football. They really take care of their players at South Carolina. If you fail over there it’s like you didn’t try. They fixing to be where they use to be when DJ Swearinger and Clowney was over there. It’s not a big turnaround they’ve to make, they’re just missing one more step, and hopefully I can be that at South Carolina if I decide to go there.”
Boykins said he will return to USC for an unofficial visit April 20th. He also plans to visit Clemson unofficially April 4th and the Tigers also are strongly on his mind.
“Hear from Clemson that they’ve been beating on South Carolina the past couple of years, that’s what they’ve been telling me.,” he said. “Best defense in the nation, been like that for a minute. Not only the wins that they been getting, but they really take care of their players. I talked to Coach Venables (as recently as Monday night) and I really like what he’s talking about, that it would be a good fit, so I’m going to go up there and see what it’s all about.”
Both USC and Clemson like Boykins as a middle or weak linebacker.
“I play with an edge, can play inside and outside, my coverage is good, I can take the back out of the backfield,” Boykins said. “You need me to get the tight end I can. I fit the gaps good, I run all over the field.”
Boykins said he’s looking at taking official visits to Texas A&M, Kentucky and Louisville. He’s going to North Carolina unofficially April 6th and will go back to Duke, Wake Forest and NC State for visits. He’s also looking at Tennessee and East Carolina for visits.
He does not claim favorites at this point but added USC and Clemson will be in it with him till the end. Boykins said he will sign and graduate early.