Last week we got the chance to visit Fayette County High School where two former Tigers and current NFL athletes Brandon Boykin and Matthew Daniels had their high school football jerseys retired. The pair helped put a struggling program on the map in 2007, as the Tigers achieved a perfect 10-0 regular season mark before ending their season with a 28-24 loss to Bainbridge in the playoff’s second round. As you could imagine, the Fayette County High gym was bubbling over with hustle and bustle in the excitement of welcoming home the school’s successful native sons. But both Boykin and Daniels were kind enough to carve out a few moments to give me insight on their careers and what it meant to be back home.
Boykin, a 5-foot-10, 185 pound corner, followed up a strong 2013 season where he recorded 47 tackles and 6 interceptions – one which he returned for a 76-yard TD – with a 2014 campaign that saw him register 43 total stops and nine pass breakups, in addition to one interception. The budding NFL star was kind enough to answer a few questions for us after the ceremony.
Question: How does it feel come back home to Fayette:
Boykin: “It’s awesome, it really is. And it’s humbling for me to be able to come back to the place where it all started for me, and to come back and interact with the people who helped you get to where you are now. So I’m just enjoying them and enjoying time at home.”
Q: How long will you be staying in town, and what’s the rest of your offseason look like?
Boykin: “I’ll be here a couple of weeks, and then I’ll head to the west coast and train and do some things to get ready for the season. I’ll be everywhere, man, it’s just always kind of a spur of the moment type thing for me.”
Q: Was football something you always felt you would excel in?
Boykin: “I don’t know, I just kind of loved the game and enjoyed playing it. I guess it got serious for me when I got to high school and I realized that I really was good enough to get a scholarship was the point where I knew I could make it if I did the right things.”
Q: What kind of advice give young men who are going to be making college decisions this year and even next year?
Boykin: “I’d just tell them not to let anyone make the decision for them. That they need to make the decision for themselves in terms of the place that they want to go. Make the decision for the right reasons, which is academically first. Football isn’t going to be forever, so you gotta go and get that degree.”
Q: What was your most memorable moment at Fayette County?
Boykin: “Definitely just going 10-0 in football. We were not that great of a team, and then we ended up being perfect season, so that’s always going to be special for me.”
Q: What’s more meaningful for you: Coming home to UGA or coming home to Fayette County?
Boykin: “This here (Fayette County) is always sweeter. Like I said, you’ve got friends that are here, family, people I grew up with. I’m still me, you know. I’m still Brandon, and it’s nice to just be able to come home and be treated like I was when I was going to school here.”