August 14, 2009

Boykin says corners have something to prove

Brandon Boykin has been having a reoccurring dream. Some might call it a nightmare.

When Georgia opens its season a mere three weeks from now at Oklahoma State, staring across the way from the sophomore short corner will be none other than Dez Bryant, a player many project to be the nation's top wide receiver.

Bryant certainly has the statistics to back up such a claim.

Last fall, Bryant caught an amazing 87 passes for 1,480 yards and 19 touchdowns, second-most in the entire country.

The 6-foot-2, 220 pounder finished third nationally in receiving yards (113.9 per game), third in punt return yards (17.94 pg) and second nationally with 9.6.9 points per contest.

For most young defensive backs - particularly ones like Boykin - that would seem a very daunting task.

Boykin will be making his first career start after taking over for Asher Allen, now with the Minnesota Vikings. But the former Fayette County star can't wait. In fact, he can already imagine the scenario in his mind.

"I can picture myself them going after me on the first play of the game. I can just envision that. Every day I go out there I'm thinking they're going to see me out there, the new guy in the secondary, Dez Bryant on my side and they're coming my way," Boykin said. "I'll be ready, I'll be alert, but I know they'll be coming my way. It's just a matter of me making the plays which is what they recruited me to do. If they (coaches) didn't have confidence in me I wouldn't be out there."

Boykin's confidence isn't necessarily misplaced.

As he explained during an interview with UGASports, you can't play the position and be successful if you don't have a certain level of self-assuredness. But that's not all.

The way Boykin sees it, getting to go against A.J. Green in practice every day is about as good of preparation as one can get.

"(Bryant) might be the best I've ever seen just looking at his catches, his stats, his touchdowns," Boykin said. "But I feel like we've got great receivers at Georgia. Going against A.J. Green every day, there's no better practice than that."

Obviously, Boykin isn't the only relative newcomer at corner who figured to get tested against the offensive-mind Cowboys.

Juniors Vance Cuff and Chad Gloer, along with true freshmen Branden Smith and Jordan Love, will all get their opportunities as well.

Like Boykin, Cuff said the crew is anxious to see how they stack up against the Cowboys.

"As a DB you just got to love playing against good receivers, good passing games. There are a lot of teams like that in the SEC, you look up to those games," Cuff said. "So we're looking forward to this game. We're preparing hard for it. We know that we are playing good guys, but everybody in our secondary wants this challenge."

Boykin agrees, adding that the knowledge that OSU is first up on the docket has helped greatly with the preparation.

"No better way than to start a season and prove a point than to go against an opponent like Oklahoma State with high profile quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers and other players all across the field," Boykin said. "They've got a dynamic offense but I feel if week preparing like we are doing, with high intensity, we'll continue to get better and better every time we go out there. If we do what we're supposed to do we have a good chance of winning that game. We're flying under the radar now but maybe that's where we need to be."

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