South Carolina football has already added what could be a big piece in Central Cabarrus High School linebacker Derek Boykins.
And the Gamecocks are angling to add more talent from the family.
Boykins’ younger brother, DeAndre, has held a USC offer since the beginning of his sophomore year of high school. He’s built differently — a 5-foot-11, 175 pounds to his brother’s 6-foot-1, 226-pound frame, but he’s plenty impactful on the field.
Their high school coach, Kenneth McClamrock, said the younger Boykins might be in position to exceed what his brother did.
“Derek is a really, really good football player,” McClamrock said. “DeAndre is a really special player.”
DeAndre Boykins is not yet ranked by the recruiting services, but he claims offer from the likes of UNC, Duke, N.C. State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss and Penn State.
And his brother’s new school has been interested.
“They show love,” DeAndre Boykins said.
He noted his main points of contact had been head coach Will Muschamp and defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson. That made it sound as if defense would be the preferred spot for the Gamecocks, but based on his play in high school, he’s got options.
He’s already played quarterback, running back, wide receiver, outside linebacker, safety and corner, by his count. That’s a credit to the talent he expects to bring to the college level in a few seasons. Of late, he’s been working at running back on the camp circuit.
“Athleticism,” DeAndre Boykins said. “Being able to play whatever position.”
“Wherever the team needs me to play, I’ll play,” he said.
He injured his foot late last season, playing at about 50 percent in the final two games of the regular season and a little better in a postseason-opening loss to eventual state champion Weddington.
For the year, Boykins posted 42 tackles, four tackles for loss, a forced fumble, three interceptions (one for a touchdown), two pass break-ups, 274 rushing yards (at 7.4 per carry), nine rushing TDs, a receiving score and a punt return score. His diversity of contributions matched his brother, who also held several roles on offense.
He still has a long way to go — two more seasons with the Vikings and plenty of recruiting. But South Carolina at least has the family connection to a player with a lot ahead of him.
“DeAndre is going to be a heck of a football player, and DeAndre is going to follow in his brother’s footsteps,” McClamrock said. “I think he’s going to outdo what his brother has done here for us.”