From Harpole to Candlestick, Josh Boyd earns place in NFL
Wednesday, September 4, 2013 1:00 AM
Josh Boyd played his high school career with the Philadelphia Tornadoes at Harpole Field. Sunday, he'll be playing for the Green Bay Packers when they take on the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park.
The game will be the late game on Fox, kicking off around 3 p.m.
Boyd has come a long way from playing junior high ball at Philadelphia and now he has made it in the NFL. Drafted in the fifth round out of Mississippi State earlier this year, Boyd learned Saturday evening that he had made the Packers' 53-player roster.
"It was sort of like draft day, only in reverse," Boyd said. "I didn't want the phone to ring. The deadline was 5 p.m. and I kept going back and checking the Internet.
"Then my agent called and told me I had made it. It was unbelievable."
Boyd, a 6-foot-3, 310 pound defensive end, has been second in his position on the Packers' depth chart throughout the summer. He played in four preseason games. Against the Rams, he was one of the leaders in tackles with five. He had three tackles and a sack in the second game; two tackles in the third game; and, last week against the Kansas City Chiefs, he had four tackles.
According to a story off of the Green Bay Packer website, defensive line coach Mike Trgovac first noticed Boyd while looking through some Mississippi State game tapes.
"I noticed a big kid with some explosion to him," Trgovac said. "He's got some pop. For a big man, he's got some movement to him."
Boyd reflected on his journey of playing football.
"I thought I would play through high school and put it down," Boyd said. "Then colleges started noticing me and I went to Mississippi State. You dream of going on to the next level but it was hard. On Saturday, the Packers cut 22 players to get down to 53. It was crazy."
It wasn't easy. After signing with the Packers, Boyd reported for a series of rookie camp practices. Sometime during the summer, he pulled a muscle in his leg but kept on coming.
Now the preseason is over. Now Boyd and his Packer teammates are focusing on the 49ers, who beat the Packers twice last season and eliminated them from the playoffs.
Boyd said he realizes he's in a big-time game.
"They (the Packers) are taking this game very seriously," Boyd said. "The 49ers played in the Super Bowl last year. And the Packers won the Super Bowl a couple years ago.
"This is going to be my first trip to California. I'm looking forward to going out there and playing."
Boyd said that he appreciated the support and help he has received from people who have been with him from the beginning. I just want to say thank you to everyone for the support I have received," Boyd said. "I have had a lot of help and support along the way."
And while he'll be traveling Friday, he said he'll be keeping up with how the Philadelphia Tornadoes do against Neshoba Central.
"Some of my friends have been telling me about it," Boyd said. "I won't be there at the game but I'll be getting updates."