published Monday, January 27th, 2014

Denzell Boyd chooses to play for ETSU

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    McMinn Central's Denzell Boyd has committed to play football for East Tennessee State after taking an official visit to the Johnson City, Tenn., campus over the weekend.
    Photo by Doug Strickland.
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When East Tennessee State University revives its football program next fall it will have a definite Chattanooga-area flavor to its roster.

McMinn Central all-state athlete Denzell Boyd became the third area player to commit to the Bucs in as many weeks Sunday evening, informing coaches before he returned home from his official on-campus visit.

"Their coaches have been recruiting me pretty hard since early on, and I already liked what I knew about the program," Boyd said. "Then I had an amazing visit and loved the atmosphere at the basketball game and really got along great with the other players. It all felt like such a perfect fit that I decided to go ahead and commit."

Boyd (5-foot-8, 170) was also being recruited by Tennessee Tech, Carson-Newman, Tusculum, Lindsey Wilson College and the University of the Cumberlands. A two-way starter, he is projected to play cornerback for the Buccaneers, a position her played until until last season when he switched to safety.

On offense, he ran for 1,300-plus yards each of the last two seasons, including one game as a junior when he showed his explosiveness by running for 240 yards and six touchdowns against Notre Dame. He has more than 3,500 career rushing yards.

"I think that's a real good fit for him because he won't be rushed to try and play right away," McMinn Central coach Josh Goodin said. "He's a real good athlete that can play several different positions and he'll definitely work his tail off for them, but I think it'll be good for him to have a year to adjust and be ready for the college game."

ETSU discontinued its football program following the 2003 season, but last spring the university's administration voted to bring back the sport as a member of the Southern Conference. This year will be the Buccaneers' first signing class, with veteran college coach Carl Torbush as their head coach. Torbush previously coached at North Carolina and Louisiana Tech and has been an assistant at Alabama, Ole Miss, Mississippi Sate, Texas A&M, Kansas and North Carolina.

Contact Stephen Hargis at or 423-757-6293.

about Stephen Hargis...

Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 24 years, having been with the Times Free Press since its inception, and has been an assistant sports editor since 2005. Stephen is among the most decorated writers in the TFP’s newsroom, winning numerous state, regional and national writing awards, including seven in 2013 and a combined 12 in the last two years. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers ...

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