The setting was cinematic. In a pivotal game under the lights at Harvard Stadium, the Crimson called on junior Joshua Boyd after starting outside linebacker Blaise Deal went down with an injury. With 18,565 in attendance despite driving rain, Boyd stepped up.
Following a second quarter touchdown from junior Colton Chapple that put Harvard up, 14-0, Brown attempted to answer back, quickly pushing the ball to near midfield. On first down, the Bears’ running back attempted to bounce the run outside.
Boyd quickly read the flow of the play and pounced to make the tackle. Swinging his left arm around the runner, the linebacker struck the ball, popping it free for the Crimson’s first takeaway.
“That was a big play in the game,” Boyd said. “All week, we had been focusing on forcing turnovers after not having any takeaways in week one [against Holy Cross].”
From then on, the defense forced four more turnovers en route to an impressive 24-7 final. Despite coming in only after Deal’s injury, Boyd led the team with 11 tackles, including five solo efforts.
This impressive performance may just be the beginning for the junior linebacker. In the road game last weekend, Boyd recorded a team-high eight total tackles, as the defensive unit smothered Lafayette, holding it to only a field goal in a 31-3 blowout.
“On one hand, you could say [Boyd] has been the most pleasant surprise on the team this year,” Harvard coach Tim Murphy said. “But I’m not surprised … he’s always been a big hitter, but now he can do it all. In my opinion, he is one of the best five linebackers in the Ivy League.”
While Boyd has played consistently over the last two weeks, his contribution to the team over the last three years has been anything but.
Joining the team in 2009, Boyd said he was prepared for his role on special teams and as a rotational player early on. But he was not ready for the leg injury that cut his freshman campaign short.
“He was down for a while,” said Eric Boyd, Joshua’s father, of his son’s injury freshman year. “He was disappointed.”
After an offseason of recovery, Boyd showed flashes of potential in the 2010 campaign while filling in for an injured Alex Gedeon, then a junior.
Boyd recorded a sack in each of the two games he started, including an eight-tackle performance in a week four win at Cornell, all while playing in an ankle brace.
“The experience I got last year playing in all 10 games and getting a lot of playing time in a couple of games definitely helped this year,” Boyd said.
After playing well in limited action last year, Boyd continued to push himself in the offseason, saying that he watched more film and lifted weights more often.
The Boston native also participated in the team’s summer program of workouts at 6 a.m. every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Following his workday at a law firm in downtown Boston, Boyd would come back for more drills and film study at night.
Harvard Medical School Profs Arrested For Serving Alcohol to MinorsHarvard Medical School faculty members J. Wesley Boyd and Theonia K. Boyd were arrested Sunday night for allegedly serving alcohol to minors at their daughter’s graduation party in Weare, N.H.
Boyd’s Subtlety Carries ‘Rates’Directed and written with insightful subtlety, the play—which ran from October 6 to 8 in the Adams Pool Theatre—aims to make bold statements about life and the decisions that shape it.
Student Scribes On PlaywritingIn a roundtable interview with the Crimson, four campus playwrights discuss the recent influx of student-written productions, directing world premieres, and writing plays out of the closet.
Boyd Named 140th Harvard Football CaptainSenior linebacker Joshua Boyd has been named the 140th captain of Harvard football, the team announced at its annual awards banquet Monday night.
Family Quarrels in "Diamonds"“It’s fourth of July, nighttime,” says Boyd, describing the dramatic climax of his play. “There will be fireworks exploding off in the distance, throwing colors across the set in these big dramatic washes.” The action on stage will be equally volatile. The patriarch, James (Joshua G. Wilson ’13), reveals he wants to sell the family farm, and his wife (Mallory J. Weiss ’15), and daughter (Amy Q. Friedman ’14, a Crimson editor) oppose his decision.
"Acres of Diamonds" Unearths American DramaBoyd infuses this family drama with the familiar setup of chasing the American Dream, symbolically setting the opening scene on the Fourth of July. Still, Boyd manages to make the story his own by bringing it into the present day, in the aftermath of the last recession, which gives the theme of lost and broken American dreams added poignancy and realism.