When Jacquille Veii and Rachid Ibrahim — who combined for 2,240 yards and 24 rushing touchdowns for Avalon last season — graduated and headed to Maryland and Pitt, respectively, they handed the Black Knights’ backfield off to Isaac Boyd.
That was the first of many handoffs Boyd would take in 2013, as the departure of the two biggest standouts in school history left the 6-foot-1, 190-pound senior to carry the load and emerge as a talent himself.
With 17 touchdowns through six games, the Black Knights’ running back is the area’s second-leading scorer, three touchdowns shy of the leader Yorktown’s MJ Stewart, who’s played a game more than Boyd. He’s run for 889 yards on 88 carries, and his 108 total points represent 60 percent of Avalon’s scoring this season. Ibrahim and Veii accounted for 70 percent combined in 2012.
“Coming up as a freshmen, I didn’t get carries at all. I was behind Rachid, and then I was behind Jacquille. So senior year was my turn to shine,” Boyd said. “Now that they’re gone, I’ve got the opportunity to get back what I lost in those years.”
Boyd said he’s worked hard in the offseason to improve his size, strength and speed, but that “it all comes down to blocking: I can’t do all this running and scoring without my line.”
But while his line helps, Avalon Coach Tad Shields says Boyd “has tremendous athletic ability and good size.” He’s also confident, and holds himself to a high standard.
“My expectation was to lead the county in rushing yards,” Boyd said. “Right now, I’m fourth so I’m trying to get there. With three games to go, I think I can do it.”
So while Boyd’s filled the void in the Black Knights’ backfield, he’s still waiting on a scholarship offer that will allow him to follow in Ibrahim and Veii’s footsteps after Avalon, too.
“I’ve gotten a lot of interest, but I’m just waiting for that day when someone calls and say, ‘Hey, here’s your offer,’ ” said Boyd, who said he’s received interest from schools such as Indiana and Villanova.
“Since it’s my senior year and I have no offers, I have to work really hard to get where I need to be. It’s a lot of stress. Sometimes it’s upsetting, but then again, I’m confident it will happen. After the season, I just have to keep working hard. Hopefully something good happens.”