DCReagan

Boyd

Carter Boyd’s decision took all of a day.

The 15-year-old standout on the Reagan baseball team had racked up a combined five Division I scholarship offers from the SEC and ACC in less than a month. And at that point, he was ready to make a choice.

Boyd, a right-handed pitcher and outfielder, was a freshman when when made a verbal commitment to Florida on Oct. 31, 2018. It was a swift choice. According to Boyd, he received an offer from the Gators, coached by Kevin O’Sullivan who guided the team to a College World Series title the previous year, just a day earlier.

Now a sophomore, he realized he was rushed. On Thursday night, Boyd announced in a post from his Twitter account that he was decommitting from Florida. He plans to weigh his options and take his time.

“I was really rushed during the process,” Boyd said Friday afternoon. “I just felt like, because I was so rushed, I didn’t know if that’s where I really wanted to go — I was, like, peer pressured into committing there. And then I realized, ‘I don’t think Florida is the place for me.’“

Boyd said his coaches with the Dirtbags, a Burlington-based travel team peppered with Division I prospects, advocated for his commitment to the Gators.

And Florida was an attractive choice. In March 2018, the athletics department announced plans to construct a new baseball complex, replacing Alfred A. McKethan Stadium which was built a little more than 30 years ago. It’s a project totaling $65 million, with the fresh park slated to open for the Gators’ 2021 season.

Boyd said the coaching staff was “outstanding.” It felt like a good fit.

And mulling over a decision to decommit was hatched just a few months ago. Boyd said he began considering his move in June and consulted with both his parents and coaches.

“They just say that it’s my choice and I can do whatever I want,” said Boyd, who has played with the Dirtbags for three years. “But they think it’s — I’m not going to say it’s a good idea, but they don’t think it’s a bad idea, either.”

Boyd has plenty of options, even before he throws the first pitch of his sophomore season at Reagan. That includes an offer from Wake Forest, another from N.C. State along with South Carolina and Duke — all in addition to the Gators. He credited his coach, Trey Daly, who is listed as the general manager for the Dirtbags, with initially contacting those programs and helping drum up interest.

A few programs watched Boyd play at the Perfect Game World Wood Bat Association’s Freshman World Championship in mid-October 2018. He competed with the Dirtbags 2022 Camo team.

For Boyd, who lives in Lewisville, it was a childhood dream to play college baseball. But it took until that month for him to realize it was truly a goal — five offers did that.

He began playing baseball at age 5 or 6, encouraged by his father, Chris. Boyd’s older brother, C.J., now a senior with the Raiders who committed to East Carolina about two weeks before in October, was already in the sport when he took it up. Now comes the search for a perfect fit. Boyd said those programs are recruiting him as a two-way player. And a career at Florida still isn’t off the table.

“I’m just going to keep my mind open to all schools,” Boyd said. “And I’m really going to take my time with this one, so I can really make sure that this place is the right place for me.”

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pferlise@wsjournal.com

@PatrickFerlise

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