The Opening Provides East Texans with Chance to Sell Gilmer’s Kris Boyd on Texas A&M
TYLER -- With invitations to a camp backed by Nike and covered by ESPN, Gladewater defensive tackle Daylon Mack and Gilmer athlete Kris Boyd were in good spirits at ETSN.fm's Photo Days session Wednesday.
In just three days Mack and Boyd will be in Beaverton, Ore., competing in The Opening, an elite high school football summer camp and competition with four other friends from East Texas.
"It means a lot to just go," Boyd said during Gilmer's session at the ETSN.fm office in Tyler. "I've wanted this for a long time and I was overwhelmed when I got an invite. I'm pretty sure everyone else is. This is a big opportunity for me. When I first heard about it, I told myself that I had to go there. I didn't really know what to do, but I started going to a few (qualifier) camps."
This is a big opportunity for the players to showcase their skills for a national audience as well as a case study of Texas A&M's recruiting momentum within the region, albeit somewhat played out in Oregon.
With local pull stacked in the Aggies' favor, Boyd (6-0, 179) is interested in the school but has made no promises to Kevin Sumlin's staff he'll be playing at the next level in College Station.
However, Mack as well as fellow The Opening participants in Sulphur Springs athlete Larry Pryor and Whitehouse safety Justin Dunning are aligned with Texas A&M. The East Texas suite of Texas A&M's tentative 2015 class wants Boyd to join them.
"I talk to him and I try to recruit him," Mack said during Gladewater's photo session in Tyler. "I feel like he'll come to A&M, but he's taking his time right now."
The trio of future Aggies have other important allies attending the Oregon camp. Quarterback Kyler Murray and receiver DaMarkus Lodge are high-profile Metroplex players also planning on attending Texas A&M.
Murray's late May commitment in particular caused positive effects for the university.
"He's created a big chain, especially for those DFW area people," Mack said. "We're getting people from Plano and Cedar Hill, getting Lodge. It's been big. It'll be big when we get Christian Kirk (an athlete from Scottsdale, Ariz.), he's a guy I think we'll get. It'll be big when we get (Mesquite Poteet linebacker) Malik Jefferson, he's another sort of DFW area guy."
Will Boyd fall in line? While Texas A&M has a big upper hand among in-state teams at The Opening, Texas Tech has two commitments from out of the area attending and Baylor will be represented by Longview running back JaMycal Hasty.
Nacogdoches cornerback Jaylon Lane, an Oklahoma State pledge, rounds out a total six players from East Texas going to this particular camp.
Boyd has offers from Texas Tech, Baylor and Oklahoma State as well as other scholarship opportunities from separate schools with their own representation of commitments hoping to network.
They're all packing their bags.
"It's going to be real fun," Mack said. "I watched it last year on TV and it was definitely something I wanted to be a part of. Just being around other great players is fun. Hanging around with some of our commits. It's always fun getting around those guys and just enjoying the experience."