The University of Pittsburgh announced Monday night that Panther freshman wide receiver Tyler Boyd has been named as a freshman all-American by the Football Writers Association of America. Boyd's production was the most by any freshman wide receiver in the country this season.
He surpassed former Pitt wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald's freshman record for catches and yardage by catching 85 passes for 1,174 yards. Boyd also scored seven touchdowns. The legendary Fitzgerald caught 69 passes for 1,005 yards in 2002, his freshman season at Pitt.
“[The record] meant a lot to me. I really didn’t expect that in my freshman year. I’m a team player though. Winning is first. Statistics come later. I never asked the coaches where I was at or how many yards I needed,” Boyd said. “I really didn’t care about that. I just want to help my team win.”
It was also the second-most catches by a Panther, trailing only Fitzgerald's sophomore (and last) season at Pitt when Larry had 92 catches in 2003.
Boyd's season receiving yardage total was the fourth-most in Pitt history. Boyd’s reception total ranks second overall at Pitt, trailing only Fitzgerald’s school-record 92 catches as a sophomore in 2003. His receiving yardage ranked fourth on the Panthers’ single-season total.
"Everything has to be perfect. I have to play with perfection. I have to know all the schemes, the blocking, the protection. [Wide receiver] Coach [Bobby] Ingram has done a good job working with us," Boyd said. "I have to keep working and working. I have to keep pushing and not give up."
This was the thirteenth year that the 10-member panel from the Football Writers Association has chosen the all-American team. The Clairton, Pa. native was also selected All-ACC by both the league’s coaches and media. He also earned Freshman All-American honors by The Sporting News and 247Sports.
The Panthers capped their season with a 30-27 win over MAC Champion Bowling Green in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. Boyd turned in a stellar performance in the game as fellow starting wide receiver Devin Street sat out the game with an injury.
Boyd gained 242 all-purpose yards including 8 catches for 173 yards (21.6 yards-per-catch average) and had a 54-yard punt return for a touchdown. The performance shattered a Pitt bowl record for receiving yardage previously held by Gordon Jones after a 1977 Gator Bowl performance of 163 yards against Clemson.
Pitt Head Coach Paul Chryst certainly appreciated Boyd's efforts in the bowl game and this season in general.
"[Tyler] is showing he wants to be coached and he's done a great job of learning what to do. We love the progress he's making. He's obviously talented. We're not surprised," Chryst said. "He means a ton to this team. We think a lot of him. He’s fun to be around.”
Boyd should be one of the focal points of Pitt's offense in the 2014 season.
"It's fun when our offense is rolling. I can do more things," Boyd said. "I can run jets. I can catch deep passes. I can catch bubble screens. It opens up our offense a lot more,"
for more info: Pitt Web Site