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ELMORE – For Edgewood Academy’s Rod Boykin, all signs pointed toward Alabama State.
His mother attends ASU sporting events regularly, he lives about 10 minutes from the campus, some friends are expected to enroll next fall and Hornets football coach Reggie Barlow wanted him draped in a black and gold jersey.
And the thought of playing in the school’s new $62 million stadium was the icing on top.
“I really liked coach Barlow and the other coaches on staff,” said Boykin, who committed to ASU on Saturday. “I really like the new stadium that they have – that was a big plus. Also, there are few players (from rival high schools) I know who are going there so it just made sense.”
A 6-foot-1 receiver, Boykin hauled in 70 catches for an AISA-record 1,529 yards to help guide Edgewood to its third state championship in four seasons this past fall. He earned him All-State, All-Metro and participated in AISA All-State Game.
Jacksonville State and Troy, among other schools, had shown considerable interest. Boykin can officially sign a letter of intent with the Barlow’s program next Wednesday on National Signing Day.
“If you’re willing to go out there and pay the price, then you’ll have a shot at playing Division I football,” Boykin said.
But Boykin will also be allowed to continue his promising baseball career at Alabama State despite being on a football scholarship. The 17-year-old outfielder batted .442 with 62 runs scored and 25 stolen bases in 2012.
“That just says a lot about his talents,” Edgewood baseball and football coach Bobby Carr said. “I don’t think Rod’s baseball career is over, he has a heck of a chance of getting drafted right out of high school this year. He’s a tremendous center fielder.
“Who knows? He might be the next Bo Jackson or Deion Sanders before it’s over with.”
The recent controversy surrounding ASU’s vacancies at president and athletic director were topics of discussion at Boykin’s household.
“(My parents) just told me to go over there and do what you have to do,” said Boykin, who had 21 touchdowns as a senior. “Just go out there and play football, and get your school work done and you’ll be alright. And don’t get into any kind of trouble.”
Carr believes Barlow picked up a great piece to the puzzle.
“Rod is a humbled champion,” the Edgewood coach said. “He shows up every day and works, does his work on the field and in the classroom and lets his actions speak for itself. It just speaks a lot about his character and the way he was raised.”
This story was originally published at: http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/article/20130130/SPORTS0403/130130010