Noah Boykin joined the 2018 Notre Dame bandwagon when he signed with the Irish today. The 6’2″, 170-pound prospect out of our nation’s capitol committed to Maryland back in July, but given his actions Maryland was probably a safety net – after that commitment, he visited Notre Dame, Virginia, USC, and Florida. He finally decommitted from Maryland a couple of weeks ago. Florida had much of the buzz until the last couple of days, when it went back and forth between Notre Dame and Virginia, and seemed to drift towards Virginia this morning. Todd Lyght busted it until the last second to secure Boykin and deserves a ton of credit for how he handled this recruitment.
Boykin took an official visit to Notre Dame for the NC State game. While the visit reportedly went well, we thought that would pretty much be the end of it. He reportedly was close to flipping around the time of the football banquet, but held off and started to look towards Florida. Todd Lyght never let up, though, and eventually he got his man. Boykin joins a defensive back class that suddenly looks quite strong, a welcome sight indeed for Irish fans after the thin 2018 class.
Recruiting Service Rankings
247 Composite — 4 star (.8916), #365 overall, #35 CB, #2 in DC
247 Sports — 4 star (90 rating), #291 overall, #25 CB, #2 in DC
Rivals — 4 star (5.8 rating), #204 overall, #21 CB, #2 in DC
ESPN — 3 star (75 rating), NR overall, #74 CB, #12 in DC
Seriously ESPN, go home. You’re embarrassing yourself.
In addition to Notre Dame and Maryland, Noah Boykin holds offers from Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Michigan State, Missouri, Oklahoma, Penn State, Southern Cal, Tennessee, Vandy, Virginia Tech, and Wisconsin, among others.
I like Boykin’s physicality – he’s solid in press coverage and run support, and he’s fearless going up for the ball. He also does a really good job of locating the ball and going after it. He’s not going to set any land speed records, but he’s more than fast enough to do the job – and he pairs that with excellent agility, which should help him turn and run with receivers. I really loved to see a guy with plus athleticism who wasn’t afraid to attack blocks and shed them to get after the ball carrier; plenty of guys are athletes, but their attitude limits their ceiling. Not a problem with Noah. Finally, he has some swagger, as evidenced by how demonstrative he is after some of these plays. Bring some of that Shane Walton mentality to South Bend, kid.
In terms of stuff to work on, I think Boykin needs to hone his man-to-man technique some; he looks like he has the physical skills for man coverage, but right now he’s getting by on being stronger and faster than his opponent. Once he gets to the next level and gets away from being an all-purpose guy he should be able to improve quickly there.
Boykin could be in the rotation next year, but in all probability I don’t think he’ll be quite ready yet. With Nick Watkins, Julian Love, Shaun Crawford, Troy Pride, and Donte Vaughn entrenched, any rookie would really have to show something special to force his way in. Depending on his own development and that of the other corners in the 2018 class, I could see him either breaking into the rotation or getting spot duty in 2019. He also has the frame to develop into a free safety with plus coverage ability, so that’s something to keep an eye on too. Wherever he ends up, he’ll upgrade the athleticism in the Notre Dame secondary.
Welcome to the Irish family, Noah!