Boyd looks to carry Maroons

Boyd looks to carry Maroons

CHAMPAIGN — Correyante Boyd knows exactly what he's out to accomplish on the football field in 2018.

"My goal is to carry us to the playoffs," the Champaign Central junior said. "Rush for close to 1,000 (yards) or more and around 60 tackles."

Those are some strong numbers, especially in the high school game. But there are two extra aspects of Boyd's gridiron presence that make his prediction even more eye-popping.

First, he carried the ball just nine times and collected 20 stops as a sophomore. Second, he suited up for Danville the last two years.

"Just knowing that I didn't get a lot (of time) to shine," Boyd said. "I could've shown what I could do there last year."

Boyd's family moving to Champaign creates a new opportunity for the youngster, who will make his Maroons debut Aug. 24 when Central hosts Metamora at revamped Tommy Stewart Field.

Boyd actually was a Central student in the waning moments of the 2017-18 academic year. So in the eyes of first-year Maroons coach Tim Turner, the acclimation period is in the rearview mirror.

"He's really part of the family here," Turner said. "Nobody even thinks about him being from Danville except when people ask about it. He's totally accepted."

Boyd's transition is about more than swapping uniforms.

He's shifted from a Vikings program that went 8-3 last season and reached the second round of the Class 6A playoffs to a Maroons crew to struggled to a 2-7 ledger.

That's not what Boyd has seen during Central's workouts, though.

"There's not too many differences," he said. "I feel like it's going to go very well (this season). I definitely think we're going to make the playoffs, and if we go any further, then who knows (what can happen)."

Turner said Boyd is part of a healthy backfield rotation and will earn defensive time either at safety or linebacker, depending on how the rest of that unit pans out.

Danville boss Marcus Forrest utilized Boyd primarily in defense-related roles last year, according to Boyd. So it's no surprise Turner is upbeat about what he's witnessed from Boyd in that regard.

"He really brings the thunder when he's coming to tackle," Turner said. "So that really helps out, and we need to have that at our linebacker as well."

Another element Boyd brings to the Maroons, Turner said, is the ability to amp up his teammates while also keeping things light.

"I really like that he brings a lot of energy to our team," Turner said. "He's a spark plug, funny kid. Most of the time when we have any workouts at the turf, he's the one leading it with the rest of the guys."

Naturally, Boyd is most looking forward to Central's Week 6 showdown against visiting Danville, describing it as "the most important game to me." He wants to display for the Vikings staff exactly what he could have provided the season prior.

Football offers a higher calling for Boyd as well.

He harbors ambitions of playing the sport beyond the prep scene, and a strong couple campaigns with the Maroons can get him to that stage.

"I started working out in eighth grade, started taking it seriously, and it's just been good for me," Boyd said. "It's just knowing that I've got a family at home to take care of, and I'm just trying to get to the next level."

Champaign Central’s 2018 schedule


Aug. 24 vs. Metamora 7 p.m.

Aug. 31 at Centennial 7 p.m.

Sept. 7 at Peoria Notre Dame 7 p.m.

Sept. 14 vs. Urbana 7 p.m.

Sept. 21 at Richwoods 7 p.m.

Sept. 29 vs. Danville 1 p.m.

Oct. 5 vs. Peoria 7 p.m.

Oct. 12 at Normal West 7 p.m.

Oct. 19 vs. Peoria Manual 7 p.m.