Army All-American Bowl notebook: Boyd faces yet another decision
The game's co-MVP Tajh Boyd has already committed and decommitted twice
The quarterback says he is considering Oregon, Ohio State and Boston College
WR Adam Hall offered refreshing honesty in refusing to commit on live television
SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Tajh Boyd didn't know much about spread offenses when he began practicing last week for Saturday's U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He didn't know the terminology. He didn't know the basic plays. Saturday, playing against the nation's best, the Hampton, Va., native piloted the spread as if he'd run it his entire life.
Boyd completed 7 of 9 passes for 179 yards and three touchdowns to lead the East team to a 30-17 win and he shared co-MVP honors with East tailback Bryce Brown. Now comes the hard part. At some point in the next month, Boyd has to choose a college. Again.
Boyd committed to West Virginia in March. He decommitted in October. He committed to Tennessee in November, but he decommitted after new coach Lane Kiffin suggested he isn't a good fit for the offense. Now Boyd is looking around again.
"I guess I would say I have, like, three, four schools, maybe," Boyd said, drawing a loud laugh from a group of family members assembled at Saturday's postgame press conference. "It just depends on the situation. My family is very involved in my recruiting. Right now, I like Oregon, Ohio State, Boston College. I'm going to take some time. I'm not going to rush into a decision."
So did Boyd's success Saturday change his mind about what type of offense he'd like to run in college? Not exactly. Boyd enjoyed his first experience running the spread, but he said he doesn't want to pigeonhole himself into a particular offense.
"It was great to see everything, but I think I'll fit well in any offense," he said. "It just depends on how comfortable I feel with the offensive coordinator."
Nixon A Gator, Brown A Hurricane?
For a second, Xavier Nixon got excited.
"Take a picture! Take a picture!" the Fayetteville, N.C., offensive tackle yelled as East teammate Brown tried on Nixon's orange Florida hat during Saturday's postgame press conference.
Unfortunately for Nixon and the Gators, Brown -- a Wichita, Kan., native who is considering Miami, Missouri, Oregon, Clemson and Kansas State -- was only kidding. Still, Florida had a good day Saturday. The Gators nabbed Nixon, the first All-American bowler to play while both parents were active duty members of the Army. Florida also received a commitment from Wellington, Fla., linebacker Jon Bostic, who chose the Gators over state rivals Florida State and Miami and SEC rival LSU.
Nixon said the most important factor in his recruitment was Gators offensive line coach Steve Addazio, who last week was promoted to offensive coordinator to replace Dan Mullen, the new head coach at Mississippi State. "That's the most important person that's going to be in my life for the next four years," Nixon said of Addazio.
It's highly unlikely Nixon will block for Brown again, though. When Nixon announced his commitment during the NBC telecast of the game, he initially picked up a Miami hat before tossing it away. Brown, whose brother, Arthur, is a Hurricanes linebacker, was not amused. In the process of rebuking Nixon, the younger Brown may have tipped off his college choice.
"He will pay for that," Brown said with a smile.
Fight The Power
Good for Tuscon, Ariz., receiver Adam Hall, who refused to cave in to pressure to announce a commitment on live television. Hall expressed frustration with game organizers, who he said pushed undecided players hard all week to announce their commitments during the broadcast.
Hall agreed to stand at a table covered with hats representing the schools he is considering, but he refused to make a choice. Instead, he removed the hats of two schools he no longer will consider -- USC and Alabama -- and left the hats of Arizona, Cal and Oregon on the table.
"They try to pressure you into doing it," Hall said of the organizers. "I wasn't ready for it."
Players already feel enough pressure from the schools recruiting them. The last thing they need is a week's worth of badgering to make a decision just to pump up the ratings a bit. Hall could have picked a school and then continued to take visits. Instead, he was honest. That's refreshing.
When William Campbell returns home to Michigan on Sunday, he'll arrive a popular man. The Detroit Cass Tech defensive tackle announced his commitment Saturday to Michigan. Campbell's commitment is huge for Rich Rodriguez and his staff; the 6-foot-5, 310-pound Campbell is the top-ranked player in Michigan. For Rodriguez to be successful, he'll need to keep Michigan's best players in Michigan.
"Close to home. Good education. Good football," said Campbell, who also considered LSU and Miami. "Those were the three things I was looking for."
As late as Friday afternoon, Campbell still hadn't made a choice. Saturday, he said he picked the Wolverines just before he went to bed. So how did he sleep? "Real good," he said.