Tyler Boyd wraps up excellent freshman year

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

The end of the 2013 football season brought with it a lot of things. There are a lot of players we could go back and look at, but one guy that I keep coming back to is Tyler Boyd.

Boyd was expected to be a key player for Pitt in the future and maybe even do some things as a freshman this year - but I don't think many folks could have predicted he'd have the type of season he did.

For starters, Boyd contributed right from the get go. He was one of the lone bright spots in Pitt's opening-season loss to Florida State and it's ironic that he was one of the few bright spots left when the season ended this weekend against Miami.

Boyd certainly had a dry spell in the middle of the season. In three games against Virginia Tech, Old Dominion,and Navy, he struggled a bit and had only nine catches for only 101 yards and a touchdown. Coincidentally, the Panthers went 1-2 over that stretch with the lone win coming against a team transitioning to the FBS. But he's been a contributor all season long and didn't catch fewer than two balls in any game this season.

The wide receiver also found his way into the end zone quite a bit. He had seven touchdowns through the air, including a big game on the road at Duke when he caught three in a single game.

Almost as impressive was his versatility, as I wrote about after the Florida State game. Boyd also had 103 yards on the ground and had another touchdown as a rusher. Boyd also returned kickoffs and even returned punts this weekend against Miami. He's just been all over the field and impossible to keep down.

One other thing is that Boyd, along with Street, really added another dimension earlier this season with a deep ball. That disappeared a bit as the season went on, but Boyd proved he's capable of some incredible receptions if a quarterback can get the ball anywhere near him.

Next year will bring more questions for sure. Boyd loses his running mate in Street and will have to deal with a new quarterback as Savage moves on. But he's shown that he's capable of big things and betting against him at this point would be the height of foolishness.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and manager/editor of Cardiac Hill @AnsonWhaley

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