NCAA

‘Last Chance U’ Star Rakeem Boyd Is Quickly Climbing Up Draft Boards

Rakeem Boyd has come a long way since his junior college football days went viral on Netflix’s Last Chance U.

Boyd appeared on the show’s third season, most of which was filmed before he signed with Arkansas. After three years in the SEC, Boyd has an opportunity to become the next Last Chance U alum to play in the NFL.

Rakeem Boyd rose to prominence on ‘Last Chance U’

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Rakeem Boyd originally began his career at Texas A&M before transferring to Independence Community College (Kan.) ahead of the 2017 season.

Boyd dominated at the junior college level, rushing for 1,211 yards and 14 touchdowns on 6.3 yards per game at Independence. That year included an impressive 303-yard performance in a 27-22 victory over Coffeyville Community College.

ICC won the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference league title that day. 

As Boyd shredded defenses on the field, he spent part of his time in junior college doing interviews for the upcoming season of Last Chance U. The Netflix docu-series spent 2017 and 2018 at ICC for the show’s third and fourth seasons.

Boyd spent the last few years at Arkansas

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By the time Rakeem Boyd debuted at Arkansas in September 2018, the world at large knew of him from Last Chance U.

Boyd didn’t let his new fanbase down, rushing for 729 yards and two touchdowns on six yards per carry to start his Razorbacks career. With a bigger workload in 2019, Boyd ran for 1,133 yards and eight touchdowns on 6.1 yards per rush. 

Boyd also turned 19 receptions into 160 yards, putting him close to 1,300 all-purpose yards in 2019. 

Boyd’s numbers took a hit in 2020, as he ran for only 309 yards and three touchdowns in seven games. The explosive running back opted out before the regular season ended.

Rakeem Boyd is climbing up NFL draft boards

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Several players with ties to Last Chance U, both from East Mississippi Community College and Independence, played in the NFL last season.

Jaguars linebacker Dakota Allen totaled 12 tackles, while Tyre Phillips started 10 total games for the Ravens at right guard. Although Buccaneers receiver John Franklin III missed the season with an injury, he became the first LCU alum to win a Super Bowl ring.

Rakeem Boyd has a chance to join them in the pros. Multiple draft analysts currently project Boyd as a mid-round pick in the upcoming NFL draft.

The Draft Network‘s Jordan Reid believes Boyd would best benefit from being a third running back in a committee. 

“Boyd is a short step, but competitive runner that plays the game at his own pace. He explodes through holes when given a clear alleyway, but also exhibits plenty of patience prior to doing so. A patient and accurate runner with seeing holes, he allows concepts to play out prior to attacking vacant areas.”

Reid wrote that he is concerned with Boyd’s pass protection skills and his struggles to pick up extra yardage. 

As of Feb. 13, 2020, Walterfootball.com listed Boyd as the 12th-best running back in this year’s class. The site’s senior draft analyst, Charlie Campbell, expects Boyd to go anywhere from the third through fifth round. 

“Boyd struggled to find running lanes in 2020, but he could be a sleeper back who turns into a nice mid-round or third-day value,” Campbell wrote.

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