Jerrell Boykins Jr. Searching for Right Fit Among Colleges, Impressed by Offer from Arkansas’ Derrick LeBlanc

Local Sports

FAYETTEVILLE — Gonzalez (La.) East Ascension three-star defensive lineman Jerrell Boykins Jr. has 11 offers with the latest coming from the University of Arkansas.

Boykins, 6-4, 290, announced the offer from the Razorbacks on Twitter Friday.

He talked about what the offer from the Hogs meant to him.

“It meant a lot,” Boykins said. “It showed they believe I can be a player that can help the school and it shows they believe in me when other people don’t.”

Boykins is versatile and depending on the defensive scheme of the college he chooses he could play end or tackle.

“I call myself a defensive lineman,” Boykins said. “I can play anywhere, anytime and any down. I just want to win.”

Derrick LeBlanc is Arkansas’ defensive line coach. He talked to Boykins and extended the offer.

“He told me the good news,” Boykins said of the offer. “He seemed like a cool guy. He knew what he was talking about and he seemed like he really wanted me at Arkansas. I really got a good vibe from him. He is from Baton Rouge.”

Arkansas has signed a lot of prospects from Louisiana through the years. Many have talked about how it’s a chance to get away from home, but yet close enough to go home when needed.

“Getting to experience other places is what I’ve grown up doing,” Boykins said. “That is enjoyable and it gives me a chance to evaluate who are there for me in life. My family will find a way to come to my games if they really want to be there.”

In addition to the Razorbacks, Boykins holds offers from Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Virginia, Memphis, UCF, Kansas and some smaller schools such as Arkansas-Monticello, Southeastern Louisiana, McNeese State and Texas State. Who are you looking at the strongest right now?

“I really don’t have any school I’m looking at strong because I can’t visit right now,” Boykins said. “But Arkansas, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Kansas and Memphis. I don’t really have any school I’m looking strongest at because I can’t visit right now. But those are the people who talk to me and get my attention right now. They contact me almost every day.”

Due to the COVID-19 shutdown of on- and off-campus visits Boykins has had to change his recruiting strategy some.

“This summer was supposed to be dedicated to visiting schools and everything,” Boykins said. “That really messed up my process because me visiting schools is a big part of my decision. Because if I don’t feel comfortable at a school then I know it’s not meant for me to be there. Just the atmosphere of some schools is different than every other one.”

Boykins talked about what he feels are his strengths on the field other than the versatility and ability to play any position up front.

“I feel I’m an elite pass rusher,” Boykins said. “I feel for my size I can still move very quickly like anyone 220 or 230. I never give up on a play. I’m very passionate about what I do.”

He also talked about an area where he needs to maybe improve in the most.

“I feel I need to work on my first step and seeing the double team,” Boykins said. “I want to be consistent with my hands and my movement.”

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