FAYETTEVILLE — Senior running back Rakeem Boyd has opted out of the 2020 football season.
Boyd has struggled with injuries and COVID issues this season and hasn’t had the season that was expected for him. In seven games, Boyd has rushed 82 times for 309 yards and three touchdowns while also catching 10 passes for 33 yards. His best game was against Texas A&M this season when he rushed 18 times for 100 yards and a touchdown.
Boyd bypassed the 2020 NFL Draft to return to Arkansas for his senior season. He was elected one of the four captains along with quarterback Feleipe Franks, linebacker Grant Morgan and defensive tackle Jonathan Marshall. While Boyd returned to Arkansas to improve his draft stock it didn’t appear that was happening this season. Sam Pittman commented on Boyd during his Monday Zoom conference without confirming he had opted out of the season.
“There’s still three games left, you know?,” Pittman said. “So, he can certainly improve his numbers in the next three games if he goes out and plays well and they block well for him. I’m sure it’s not ideal for him. We talk to him and all the other guys quite often. He knows that he can do something about that, as well, himself. We can certainly block better and do some things of that nature. But, sometimes as a back you have to go make your own way. He was getting better at that. Had a pretty good game against A&M. Obviously, he couldn’t play against LSU, but we anticipate he’ll be back healthy and ready to roll.”
In 2019, Boyd rushed 184 times for 1,183 yards and eight touchdowns. He caught 19 passes for 160 yards. That followed his sophomore season in 2018 when he rushed 123 times for 734 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught 23 passes for 165 yards.
He started his career at Texas A&M and redshirted before transferring to Independence (Kan.) Community College for one season. He rushed 1,211 yards and 14 touchdowns in his one season in junior college.
Boyd leaves Arkansas having rushed 389 times for 2,226 yards and 10 touchdowns and caught 52 passes for 358 yards.