Just when you thought a horrid chapter in the annals of Vanderbilt football was coming to a close,…
Is Chris Boyd close to a return?
Boyd was indicted on August 16th on the charges of felony accessory after the fact in the June rape of a Vanderbilt co-ed. Though he was suspended on the same day from the football program (and thus has not practiced or played with the team) he has stayed in school and attended classes throughout the investigation. This is worth noting as it is in sharp contrast to the other four involved who were all charged with multiple felonies and expelled from the university with haste.
This development is of interest because the change in date would seem to suggest that the sides are ready to seek some kind of plea deal. Any such deal would likely be for a reduced charge and would open up the door for Boyd's suspension to be lifted. As has been noted many times during this process Boyd has been nothing but helpful to the investigation and many were actually shocked he was dragged into the mire created by his former teammates in the first place.
If and when Boyd is cleared the question then becomes is he allowed back on the team or not? You would think that if James Franklin did not believe in his player then he would have dismissed rather than suspend Boyd in the first place. In all likelihood this means that Boyd will be back on the field sooner rather than later, but is it even possible he could be a factor this weekend against South Carolina?
One thing we know about Boyd from last year is that he has a solid grasp of the offense. The lack of playing time with Austyn Carta-Samuels is likely to be an issue initially, but how long Will Franklin wait to get Boyd paired up with Jordan Matthews out wide. This pair, remember, was being heralded as the premier wide receiver combo in the SEC before Boyd's indictment. With Jordan Cunningham seemingly having stood up last weekend as a viable threat at the number three wide receiver position, the 'Dores could be even better than advertised through the air very soon.
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