Josh Boyd, the 6-foot-3, 275-pound three-star defensive end from Philadelphia, Miss., helped lead his team to a 10-3 record and finished the season with 154 tackles, 27 TFL, 10 sacks, two blocked punts and two blocked PATs.
"I'm quick off the ball and have a lot of power," Boyd said. "I'm a good pass rusher too. I'm just a good combo of speed and power.
"But I still want to work on getting to the quarterback faster and use more moves and stuff," he said. "I lift weights and run a lot. I'm also doing cone drills and just trying to stay in shape."
Boyd says he can bench 385 pounds and squat 520 pounds. "I didn't really get into football until the seventh grade," he said. "I was also into basketball more, but everyone I knew played football and I wanted to try it. After that I really liked it."
Although he says he's still "very open", Boyd admits to favoring Mississippi State slightly over Ole Miss, Southern Miss, Florida, Alabama, Auburn and Michigan. All of his favorites have offered, except for Florida. He also has an offer from Florida State.
"I'm still real open," he admitted. "I haven't really been thinking much about it and I haven't been to many schools yet. I want a good environment and a program that is known for football and cares about football. I don't care about things like distance or location. I'll play anywhere."
Boyd says he'd like to attend a few junior days and camps, but doesn't have any scheduled yet. "I'll try to go to as many as I can, but I also run track and it just depends when I have time."
The first school to offer Boyd was Mississippi State and the Bulldogs are recruiting him the hardest. "I really like the coaches there," he said. "I've met a lot of them and they just seem like good guys.
"I was really impressed with Mississippi State last season. Nobody thought they'd do as well as they did," he said.
"Next year I'm probably most excited about seeing Alabama play," he said. "They had a really good recruiting class and coach Nick Saban did pretty well in his first year, so it'll be fun to see what they do this year."
Boyd has been at a game at ALA and says it was a great experience. "I love the atmosphere there," he said. "It's a great place for football."
One school that Boyd has never visited and is eager to check out is Michigan. "They are definitely a school I'll be checking out," he said. "I'm really interested to see what it's like. I like their tradition and they have great history."
The Wolverines are Boyd's lone Big Ten interest as he admits he's a big SEC fan. "I love the SEC," he said. "I never really followed one school, but I like the SEC overall. They have hard-nosed players and good coaches. Also the players and coaches in the SEC seem to have a lot of integrity."
While Ole Miss and Southern Miss are only three hours and one/half hours away respectively, Boyd admits to only "passing through" those two campuses. "I really like Ole Miss," he said. "The players seem like good people. I also think they'll be an up-and-coming program. They'll be right in the mix next year.
"But Southern Miss is getting better too," he said. "My old teammate (defensive lineman Anthony Gray) plays there and we've talked about playing together again. It would be fun, but it's not going to be my main reason to go there. We've talked about it before and he gives me advice and stuff. He told me that recruiting can get a bit tough with all the calls, but that in the end it's all about me and what I want. He said he's not gonna try to get me to go to So Miss if that's not what I want."
Don't expect Boyd to be making a decision any time soon. "I don't think I'll decide until the end," he said. "I'll do it probably near signing day and after I see everyone and take all my visits."
Academics might be a concern for Boyd who says he doesn't know his GPA. "I don't really know about that," he said. "I haven't asked. I haven't talked to my guidance counselor. I'm just doing my schoolwork and trying to get it all done." Boyd did say he took the ACT a few weeks ago and is waiting on his results.