The Pitt Panthers are sitll working on building a winner in the ACC under head coach Paul Chryst and face some major challenges heading into the 2014 season. But there’s plenty of reasons to feel optimistic about the Panthers’ chances of getting on track with a load of young, talented playmakers who could develop into difference makers down the line. One young playmaker, rising sophomore wide receiver Tyler Boyd, is already a difference maker and ready to dominate in 2014.
During his freshman season in 2013, Boyd proved to be a dynamic playmaker for Pitt. He led the team with 85 receptions for 1,174 yards and seven touchdowns, averaging 13.81 yards per reception and 9.5 yards per target. He was the target on nearly 31 percent of Pitt’s pass attempts last season as he immediately separated himself as a leader in the passing game. He also proved dangerous in the return game, averaging 23 yards per punt return with one he broke for a touchdown.
Now, Boyd figures to be an even bigger part of the Pitt passing attack with another year of experience under his belt and the Panthers facing some turnover on the offensive side of the ball. Devin Street graduated this offseason after finishing second on the team in receiving last season. As Chryst looks for a new No. 2 option in the passing attack to emerge, Boyd will be counted on to spark the offense early and often.
Boyd has shown that he can be a fantastic player during his freshman season and he will only continue to improve on his tremendous skillset. As he develops, the sky is the limit for what he can accompish. Whether he makes the cut as a Biletnikoff Award finalist or a Heisman Trophy contender just yet remains to be seen but he is bound to rise to the top of the ACC as the conference’s No. 1 wideout in 2014.