Looks Like University Of Illinois - Henry Boyer
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Gonna change the intro here from what I typed out earlier. Want to paint the picture real quick.
Since I'm a train guy now, I'm on a train right now. No wifi. I'm hotspotting my phone to stay connected to the world. But the next time you see one of those coverage maps on a Verizon or AT&T commercial, look at Montana. Not much is shaded in red or orange here because these ranchers out my window here don't really refresh Twitter on their phone all that much.
As of right now, the train is stopped. Freight train traffic ahead. And while we had just passed through a small town with cell service a few miles ago, where we're stopped right now is the dreaded ZERO BARS. In the town back there I was able to squeeze off a tweet with some screencaps that showed that it's not just Kofi Cockburn - players across college basketball have been doing the "stay in draft process as long as possible, keep the option to return, also enter the portal" thing. Dawson Garcia did it last week, Alabama's leading scorer did it yesterday. Someone asked me a question about what I meant by my cryptic tweet (those screencaps), and I typed up a response explaining the tweet, but by the time I went to send it, I was out of cell range.
And now we're stopped in a place with no cell service. That tweet will send as soon as we move again and we get back in range, but by that time, the whole world could have changed. There might be quotes from Kofi or something. My supposition that this is just like all those other players - keep all options open with a portal entry - could be proven wrong by some article or tweet in the time between now and when that tweet sends. Everything hinges on the conductor of that freight train.
"Robert, what would you have been like had you been raised on the frontier in 1898?"
I'd absolutely be the guy taking the train to the big city to get the telegram to see if Illinois football beat Millikin. We LOST? To MILLIKIN?? I swear if it doesn't happen by 2020 I'm out.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled article.
I have this problem where I can't get past the first thing I see. I look at Henry Boyer's height, frame, age, and film and I think he's the type of high school tight end who will be a college offensive tackle. His Twitter profile lists his birthday (in May), so he just turned 17. He was a baseball prospect (with a baseball recruiting profile and everything) but now he's 6'-6", 250 lbs. If guessing by film from this spring (I'm pretty good at it - I should work at Six Flags), I'd say he played at 255 or maybe even 260 this spring.
So if he's still 16 in the film I watched, and he's that big (long arms, long legs, athletic frame - a "jumbo ATH"), then at 21 years of age I see a possible offensive tackle. Owen Anderson, to me, looked like a college tight end on film. Henry Boyer, to me, looks like a future tackle:
Again, 16 years old. He looks like every high school tight end Wisconsin has recruited in the last 20 years and then converted into an offensive tackle. This is not an insult to his TE skills - watch the little sprint once he turns and gains separation from the linebacker - but if this is 16, I think 22 is "310 lbs, left tackle".
Or maybe it's block-centric tight end. Block-centric doesn't sound right, but I don't want to say "blocking tight end". What's that wine term - fruit forward? He's a very block-forward tight end.
Look, maybe I have way too much "Wisconsin Bielema = Illinois Bielema" in my head. Maybe I look at too many of these recruits through "we're trying to do what Alvarez did at Wisconsin" goggles. Maybe he maxed out his height and weight early and will play TE at Illinois at 6'-6", 255 lbs.
But I can't help but think offensive tackle when I see this kid's film. What Wisconsin did with David Edwards (a high school quarterback) is what I see us doing with Henry Boyer. "Son, you've been gifted with a frame that can hold 310 lbs of muscle. Let's teach you how to play tackle."
Or - OR - I need to stop with all of this "dude is huge I don't see him at this position" stuff. Thinking through the Bielema recruits so far, I've said that there's no way Josh McCray stays at RB, no way Jordan Anderson stays at RB, no way DJ Johnson is a linebacker, and now no way Henry Boyer is a tight end. Maybe I just need to stop and realize that Bielema likes to recruit massive dudes for smaller dude positions?
Offer-wise, Boyer didn't have much yet. Kent State was his first offer and that was quickly followed by Illinois. And that was quickly followed by a verbal. Positive Polly: His junior season didn't happen until April, once he had some great film, we offered and locked him up before anyone else saw him. Negative Norm: he's another recruit with zero Power Five offers besides Illinois which, besides Pugh, seems to be the norm for this class.
Let me give you the timeline here. I wrote all of this stuff. Then I saw the Kofi stuff, tweeted a few things, and went back up and wrote all of that stuff at the top. Now I'm back down here and... now I feel like I went to far with "he's a tackle" above. Maybe it's that paragraph I wrote about how I keep saying the same thing ("too big for current position") and it's finally sinking in that I'm looking at this wrong. Maybe it's thinking through the tight end position and realizing that we moved offensive linemen (Preston Engel) and defensive linemen (Cooper Davis) to tight end this spring. If we're moving linemen there, doesn't it make sense that we'd recruit linemen to go there?
Pay no attention to anything I'm saying is my point. Except for the part about me being the guy on the train headed to the city to find out the score. While I'd like to think I'm Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven, I'm really Saul Rubinek.
Tom Cruises. I think this one lands right at two. Grabbed him early after a bit of a breakout season this spring at Brother Rice (where he transferred this year). Might have grabbed him before anyone else found him; might just have another project TE to add to the pile.
Henry Boyer - Two Tom Cruises.