If TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin would have been willing to play only wide receiver, the Senior Bowl would have been interested in having him at this week’s all-star game.
Boykin is open to playing receiver at the next level, according to a source familiar with his thinking, but is still focused mostly on being evaluated as a quarterback at this point in the process.
At the end of the day, the source said, Boykin wants to play in the NFL, and it’s ultimately up to the team that drafts him to make the call at which position.
Without Boykin’s full commitment to playing wide receiver, though, the Senior Bowl opted to go elsewhere to fill that spot.
“That was something that was talked about,” Senior Bowl executive director Phil Savage said. “Of course, he went and played quarterback at the NFLPA [Collegiate Bowl] last week. I’m not sure, I don’t want to speak for him, but I don’t think he’s ready to make that full-fledged switch to wide receiver.
“We just felt like there were other guys who really wanted to showcase what they could do at wide receiver, so we just sort of played it out there.”
There are questions regarding Boykin and his ability to translate his college success to pro success at the quarterback position. Some feel he’s better suited to become a wide receiver/returner in the NFL, and the Senior Bowl would have given him a platform to do just that.
One Senior Bowl participant — Ohio State’s Braxton Miller — made a relatively seamless transition from quarterback to wide receiver last year, and there is a thought process that Boykin could have similar success.
For now, though, Boykin isn’t ready to abandon his quarterback aspirations. He is working out with former NFL quarterback Rich Bartel, who played with the Dallas Cowboys in 2007-08, at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., focusing mostly on refining his quarterback skills along with doing a little bit at wide receiver.
Boykin is expected to take part in the NFL Combine next month in Indianapolis, which will give him another opportunity to showcase his quarterback talents as well as his other traits.
Count former TCU running back Aaron Green among Boykin’s biggest believers that he can have success as a quarterback at the next level. Boykin went 22-2 as a starting quarterback the last two seasons at TCU, throwing for 3,901 yards as a junior and 3,574 yards as a senior.
Over his past two seasons with the Frogs, he threw 64 touchdowns with 20 interceptions, and rushed for another 17 touchdowns.
“He’s an amazing quarterback,” said Green, the lone TCU player at the Senior Bowl. “He has an amazing arm, he’s accurate, he’s extremely smart, so I think quarterback is where he needs to play.
“It’s very frustrating people don’t think he can play quarterback. His junior year he threw for almost 4,000 yards; I don’t know what else you want from the guy. You see the throws that he makes.”
As a quarterback at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl last week, Boykin completed 1 of 3 passes for 6 yards with an interception.
Those aren’t overwhelming numbers, but Boykin also used the week to meet with teams and try to quiet concerns about his off-field issues. He was charged with third-degree felony assault in San Antonio after an altercation with an officer on Dec. 31 before the Alamo Bowl, which led to his suspension from the bowl game.
But Boykin made a positive impression on several teams, the source said, that he is better than what was portrayed that night. Now, he’s focused on proving he has the ability to play at the next level, regardless if it’s at quarterback or receiver.
“Trevone wants to play in the NFL,” the source said.
The Cowboys have an interview scheduled Wednesday with Al Golden, the former University of Miami head coach. Golden has a strong defensive background and the Cowboys have an opening after secondary coach Jerome Henderson left for Atlanta.
TCU wide receiver Kolby Listenbee, who averaged a team-best 19.9 yards per catch, withdrew from the Senior Bowl because of a hip injury.