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April 28, 2008

Boyd Drafted By Tampa Bay In 7th Round

South Carolina running back Cory Boyd was taken by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the seventh round (238th player selected overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft on Sunday.

It marks the seventh straight year in which a Gamecock has been selected in the NFL Draft. Boyd becomes the first Carolina running back selected since Andrew Pinnock was taken in the seventh round (229th overall) by the San Diego Chargers in 2003.

The 6-1, 214-pound Boyd was the Gamecocks' top rusher in 2007, carrying 180 times for 903 yards, averaging 5.0 yards per carry. He also caught a career-high 36 passes for 405 yards.

During his Carolina career, Boyd played 46 games, starting 27. He finished his collegiate career with 2,267 yards and 23 touchdowns on 464 carries (4.9 avg.) and 117 receptions for 1,303 yards and five more scores.

Boyd is 10th on USC's all-time rushing list.

Boyd was rated by Rivals.com as the No. 21 running back in the country. ESPN's Scout, Inc. judged him as the 17th best running back. Running back was considered one of the deepest positions in the 2008 draft.

Boyd caught the eye of NFL scouts after a solid performance in the East-West Shrine Bowl, followed by a 4.51 clocking in the 40-yard dash at the league combine in February.

Following the NFL Combine, SI.com listed Boyd as one of the combine's top seven "risers."

After rushing for 541 yards in 2003-2004, Boyd persevered through a season long suspension in 2005 before finally emerging in 2006 ready to take over the role as the Gamecocks' top running back.

Over his final two seasons (2006-2007), Boyd turned into one of USC's most versatile offensive threats by rushing for 1,726 yards and catching 71 passes out of the backfield, while gaining a reputation as a hard-nosed runner that gave maximum effort on every play.

Boyd scored 28 touchdowns, tying him with Bennett for third place on USC's all-time list. In addition, his 117 career receptions puts him seventh on USC's all-time receiving list.

Boyd is one of just two former Gamecocks to claim a spot in the Top 10 of both the rushing and receiving lists. Brandon Bennett (1991-1994), who is second in rushing and eighth in receptions, is the other.

Boyd and Bennett are also the only two USC players to log 2,000 yards rushing and haul in 100 or more receptions.

Boyd graduated from USC in December with a degree in hotel, restaurant and tourism management and spent the following four months preparing for the NFL Draft at various workout facilities in Cleveland and Miami.

The Buccaneer's current roster features 2005 first-round pick Cadillac Williams, who was the NFL Rookie of the Year but missed most of the 2007 season due to a significant knee injury. The Bucs also return Earnest Graham, who rushed for 898 yards and 10 touchdowns, while averaging 4.0 yards per carry.

In addition, the Bucs re-signed Michael Bennett just before the start of free agency, lured Warrick Dunn back to Tampa and have former Alabama standout Kenneth Darby, their final pick of the 2007 draft, on the roster.

2008 - RB Cory Boyd (Tampa Bay, 7th Round)

2007 - WR Sidney Rice (Minnesota, 2nd Round)
DB Fred Bennett (Houston, 4th R0und)

2006 - DB Johnathan Joseph (Cincinnati, 1st Round)
DB Ko Simpson (Buffalo, 4th Round)

2005 - WR Troy Williamson (Minnesota, 1st Round)
LB Rod Wilson (Chicago, 7th Round)
DL Darrell Shropshire (Atlanta, 7th Round)

2004 - DB Dunta Robinson (Houston, 1st Round
OL Travelle Wharton (Carolina, 3rd Round)
DB Deandre Eiland (Minnesota, 6th Round)

2003 - DL Langston Moore (Cincinnati, 6th Round)
LB Corey Jenkins (Miami, 6th Round)
RB Andrew Pinnock (San Diego, 7th Round)

2002 - LB Kalimba Edwards (Detroit, 2nd Round)
DB Sheldon Brown (Philadelphia, 2nd Round)
DB Andre Goodman (Detroit, 3rd Round)
LB Willie Offord (Minnesota, 3rd Round)
DL John Stamper (Tampa Bay, 6th Round)

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