TarHeelIllustrated - Boykins Grinding Toward His Early Enrollment
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Boykins Grinding Toward His Early Enrollment

DeAndre Boykins tells THI he's lifting and running to prepare for his early enrollment at UNC on Jan. 16.
DeAndre Boykins tells THI he's lifting and running to prepare for his early enrollment at UNC on Jan. 16. (Rivals.com)

DeAndre Boykins was among the many future North Carolina Tar Heels who committed to Mack Brown’s program last March, and on Jan. 16, he will be one of 12 members of the class of 2021 that will enroll early in Chapel Hill.

A 4-star prospect, Boykins is listed as an all-purpose back by Rivals, but he told THI in the fall UNC will start him out in the secondary.

"You know Coach Brown, he lets you choose so he said whatever position you feel comfortable at so I mean that for me will be the nickel position," Boykins said in early October.

Boykins, who is 5-foot-11, 195 pounds and attended Central Cabarrus High School in Concord, NC, is rated the No. 72 overall prospect nationally in the class, including No. 3 in the nation as an all-purpose back, and would rate relatively in that range as a nickel as well. He is the No. 3 prospect in the state of North Carolina.

During his signing day press conference last month, Brown heaped plenty of praise on Boykins as he was showing clips of the multi-talented player.

“DeAndre Boykins, who is actually a cousin to KJ Bingley. He’s at Central Cabarrus High School. He was 5-11 (and) 200 (pounds). He plays running back, he plays linebacker, he plays nickel, and plays corner. For us he would be a nickelback… See the quickness and he's a weightlifter. He's really strong. He's a tough guy, he can really hit you. As you can see there.

“Very physical. Once again, very physical, very smart, good instincts… Being a running back he has very good hands. Good break on the ball and got the speed to score. And we're trying to get defensive backs that can catch because turnovers win games.”

THI caught up with Boykins to see how he’s doing and what he’s doing as the enrollment date is just around the corner.

Here is that conversation:

THI: What have you been doing to stay in shape since we last talked and with you enrolling soon?

BOYKINS: “Just DB training and lifting five days a week.”

THI: What have the coaches said to you about what to prepare for as you’re ready to enroll?

BOYKINS: “Just to stay in shape and be ready to come and compete.”

THI: What do you think of how the Tar Heels played over the last month, especially the win at Miami and then against Texas A&M in the Orange Bowl?

BOYKINS: “Well, I thought they played exceptionally well against Miami in the blowout, then for Texas A&M, I thought the same thing but I knew we wouldn’t won for sure if there weren’t any opt outs.”

THI: What’s your thoughts on being a member of this highly ranked class of 2021 group?

BOYKINS: “I think it’s great that we can come together and get the best players in our state to play for the best team in North Carolina.”

THI: What current UNC player are you most excited about playing with and why?

BOYKINS: “Well, I’m excited to be on the same college team as my cousin, KJ, but in my position group, JQ (Ja’Quarious) Conley, because I feel like we have the same skill set and I can learn from him.”