Though there are several positions still up for grabs, no one is shying away from admitting that heralded freshman Tyler Boyd is in excellent position to see the field, possibly even start at receiver.
Boyd, a former four-star prospect out of nearby Clairton, came in with a lot of expectations. Based strictly on the first week of training camp, Boyd is living up to the hype.
"I've been more than impressed by him, as a person, as a player, his approach, his demeanor when he does something well," Rudolph added. "Even when he does something poorly, he just seems to be, 'next play.' He's made the play when the play has been there, he's played fast, his understanding is what you always worry about, and that's really coming along."
Boyd is quick to admit that no starting lineup, or no depth chart has even been set. However, he's also quick to note that when his number is called, he's already ready to go.
"Every time they say first-team, I'm in there," Boyd said. "I'm not saying I'm the starter yet, I just know I'm getting reps with the first team. I know I'm getting better and better, so that when my name is called for the opening game, I can be out there with the first team. I don't think I have the job yet. I'm just going to keep working."
Boyd is in competition with fifth-year senior Ed Tinker and redshirt junior Kevin Weatherspoon, another former Clairton star. This week, we're starting to see Boyd take more reps with the first-team.
Head coach Paul Chryst shies away from referring to certain players as being first-team or second-team. When asked about Boyd on Wednesday, he didn't shy away from saying Boyd is in consideration for something.
"I think he's done a great job of learning, what to do," Chryst said. "He wants to be coached, and he's showing that. He's got talent, showing some the reasons why he's getting more reps. I'm not surprised, but you certainly appreciate it."
The biggest obstacle or Boyd coming in, as it would be for any freshman at any position, is learning the system, and applying the system. In Boyd's case, it was a matter or not only translating what he learned from his days at Clairton, but also learning the intricate details of the offense--even the other positions around him.
"Totally different," Boyd said. "At Clairton, we did number routes. Now, you have to know the concepts, what route you're going to do, and how many yards. I'm in the study room twice as much. It's totally different."
While he's obviously had to speed up his learning curve, are there any methods that have worked particularly well to this point?
"It's a double everything," Boyd added. "I have to study film, get out here and get big reps. Even if I'm not on the field, I get mental reps. I watch my position, and see how many yards I have to get. The plays, the film, get double stacked. I have to know what's going on."