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After going undrafted in the 2021 NFL Draft, Razorback running back Rakeem Boyd promised to “make em pay.” The Hogs’ leading rusher in 2018 and 2019, Boyd announced he’s heading to the Detroit Lions as an undrafted free agent.
Although his career ended on a bad note, Boyd was highly productive during his time in Fayetteville. His 2,176 career rushing yards rank 14th on the UA’s all-time list, while his career 5.59 yards per carry ranks 10th.
Originally from New Orleans, Boyd and his family was forced to move to Houston because of Hurricane Katrina and he eventually became a highly recruited four-star prospect in the Class of 2016.
He signed with Texas A&M, but redshirted his first year and ultimately transferred to a junior college because of grades. In one season at Independence C.C. in Kansas, Boyd starred in the ‘Last Chance U’ Netflix series before landing at Arkansas as a three-star recruit in the 2018 class – the first signed by former head coach Chad Morris.
Despite battling multiple injuries, he ran for 734 yards in 2018 and followed that up with a 1,133-yard season in 2019. Through those two seasons, he averaged an impressive 6.1 yards per carry, which was better than everyone not named Felix Jones and Matt Jones in school history.
After considering entering the NFL Draft last year, Boyd decided to return to Arkansas for his senior year. Had he just replicated his rushing total from 2019, he would have joined an exclusive list of 3,000-yard rushers for the Razorbacks.
Unfortunately, that never materialized under the new coaching staff. Boyd got hurt early in the year and then missed a game because of COVID-19 contact tracing, at which point he decided to opt out of the final two games of the year and focus on the NFL Draft.
Former Razorback corner Jerry Jacobs was also picked up by the Lions as an undrafted free agent. The former JUCO and Arkansas State DB opted out of the season after four games, ultimately claiming it to be one of his worst mistakes.