Kyle Boyd from Mesquite, Texas, gave up the football scholarship to serve his country.
Years later, Kyle got back to Baylor University football team to become one of its most respected players.
Boyd was a gifted linebacker, and played fullback at Dr. Horn High School team. In February 2010, he signed with Baylor Bears, which had just reached its first bowl game in 16 years.
The young player was excited for the upcoming season of 2011.
However, before the day of his report at Baylor came, Kyle decided to join the Army. He watched news from Afghanistan and Iraq, and felt the urge to do the part in serving his country.
“I have a servant’s heart I guess,” Kyle confessed to Waco Tribune-Herald later. “My father has been a police officer for 27 years, and I’ve had other family members in the military and I think it just runs in my family and in my blood.”
Instead of going to university with athletic scholarship, Boyd joined the Marine Corps.
Kyle’s parents were not happy with his decision. They tried to talk him out of it or at least convince to get the education first. He understood their point, but felt like joining the Marines was his true calling at the time.
“I think, everyone needs to do their part in some way. However, not everyone can join the infantry or be a marine. I knew that I could, and I wanted to.”
In 2012, Kyle was sent to boot camp in San Diego. After the basic training, he served around the world — in Japan, Korea, Australia and New Zealand. The marine was eager to go to combat, but was never called to trouble spots.
“That’s every infantryman’s dream, be there for your brothers in a fight,” Boyd admitted. “But we didn’t get that chance unfortunately”.
Maybe that is the reason why Kyle decided to return to football after a four-year hitch — to support his teammates on a pitch, as he could do this on a battlefield.
In 2016, the 24-year-old Marine veteran gave the Baylor coaching staff a call. There were no scholarships available, but he could join the team as a walk-on. Kyle accepted the offer immediately.
“I didn’t know if I could still play football. It had been so long. But I made a promise to myself that I would try.”
After the Marine camp drilling, football training was a cakewalk. Kyle never failed to meet coaches’ demands, and when it was time to pick a role, he went for fullback.
Boyd’s team position tells a lot about his personality. During matches, he is not carrying the ball, but blocking for his teammates. The player does not complain about being out of the spotlight.
“I just want to help my team to win anyway I can.”
When the Bears played Southern Methodist University during Military Appreciation Week in 2016, Boyd carried the American flag out of the McLane Stadium tunnel. Now he does it before every game.
“I get to raise that flag for everybody that’s ever served and will serve one day. I think it’s important that people realize what servicemen have given to this country.”