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December 17, 2007For every Randy Moss in the NFL there is a Wes Welker.
And while the two New England Patriots wide-outs couldn't be more different physically, they come together to prove the same point: there's no one perfect way to catch a pass.
Enter Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei's Robbie Boyer. At 6-foot, 170-pounds, he'd rather outwork and outsmart his competition, than over-power them . . . at least for now.
Being from Mater Dei, a local pipeline high school for the University of Southern California, Boyer was destined to be noticed by the Trojan coaching staff.
"I've talked to coach (Nick) Holt a couple times," he said of his contact with the USC coaching staff. "My dad has talked with both Coach Holt and (Pete) Carroll. It's early, we're just talking.
"I'd be considered a preferred walk-on there. They told me that if I get in there and prove myself by competing with some of the top guys, further down the road I would have a chance at a scholarship."
Unfortunately for Boyer, and all undersized high school players, the possibility of an initial official scholarship offer from USC remains slim. However, the senior does hold an offer from the Air Force Academy and is talks with San Diego State.
But to suggest that Boyer's options are limited would be misleading. Couple his nearly flawless GPA with his athletic abilities and his options, in fact, seem endless.
"I'm checking out all kinds of places," he said. "Harvard, UCLA, USC, all the Pac10 schools, and SMU a little bit.
"Anywhere I go I'm going to have to compete - Ivy League or where ever - so it's one of those things I'm trying to weigh right now, playing earlier or later. For me that's part of it, but the bigger part is where I would feel most comfortable.
"Playing time, right now, is secondary."
Ultimately playing time is a goal of Boyer's, who recently began intensive training to prepare for the rigors of college football.
"I train at this gym close to my house here called the Rock Institute which works on your overall body performance, building speed while also getting you bigger," he said, explaining that it will replace running track in the spring.
"They do speed and agility, plyometrics, footwork, weightlifting. I want to gain about 15 pounds, to try to get up to about 185 or 190. I'm trying to improve my speed, especially on my get-off and quickness in and out of my breaks."
Boyer, however, remains an ardent defender of the cerebral athlete, especially when being recruited.
"That's what gets overlooked in this whole recruiting process is the intangible things I can bring to a team," he said. "(I'd bring) heart, and just playing the wide-receiver position, catching the ball and getting in and out of my routes well.
"I'd be excited to go to SC just to see how I could compete against those guys and test myself."
An added draw to USC for Boyer would be the presence of at least one of his current teammates, offensive lineman Khaled Holmes, and possibly his quarterback, and one of 2009's top recruits, Matt Barkley.
"That'd be awesome to play with some of my teammates right now (at the next level)," Boyer said. "But when it comes down to it I'm going to go somewhere that I feel most comfortable and is the best fit for me.
"I'm not going to go somewhere just because a friend is, but obviously, it'd be an amazing bonus."
If Boyer has one thing in common with the five-star recruits of the world, it's that he'll wait until national signing day to choose a college, but where that will be still remains a mystery.
"I'd love to stay in Southern California," he said. "That'd be my preference, but if it doesn't work out so be it."
And as for USC and being a preferred walk-on?
"It's definitely an option, right now I'm just trying to figure out where I want to go to school and it's a good option.
"It'd be an awesome opportunity."
USCFootball.com will continue to keep you updated on Robbie Boyer's recruitment.