Arkansas senior running back Rakeem Boyd announced Tuesday afternoon that he has opted out of the remainder of the 2020 college football season.
The announcement made Boyd the sixth Razorback to opt out of the season so far. The Houston native has carried the ball 82 times for 309 yards and three touchdowns this season.
“Through this unprecedented pandemic I’ve decided to opt out of the remainder of the 2020 season,” Boyd wrote in a statement posted on social media. “I will be preparing for the 2021 NFL Draft.”
Through three seasons with Arkansas, Boyd tallied 2,176 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground. He also hauled in 52 receptions for 358 yards in the red and white.
Boyd began his college career at Texas A&M, but transferred to Independence Community College in Kansas due to academic issues. He then transferred to Arkansas as a sophomore in 2018, earning the starting spot while running for 734 yards and two scores. During his junior campaign last season, Boyd ran for 1,133 yards and eight touchdowns.
After having a prolific season on a 2-10 Razorback team in 2019, Boyd chose to return to Fayetteville for his senior year with the Hogs in hopes of improving his NFL draft stock. Things have not gone his way, though, as he began the year nursing an injury sustained in the season opener against Georgia and things have not been the same since.
In the next game against Mississippi State, Boyd was knocked out of the game early and forced to miss the remainder of the matchup with the Bulldogs and the next week's game at Auburn. He has found little room to run most of the season, averaging a career-low 3.8 yards per rush.
In fall camp, head coach Sam Pittman talked about trying to improve Boyd’s pass-catching ability, but the senior has only caught 10 passes for 33 yards. Pittman spoke before the season about an NFL scouting report on Boyd that he received during the summer.
"I was really shocked about the report we got back," Pittman said. "I wasn't shocked at the time I got the report back from the NFL scouting service, I just thought maybe he doesn't have very good hands. That's not the case. He catches the ball easily, and we just need to highlight that for our football team and of course for his NFL draft future. Both of them are important, and certainly he'll help us win catching the ball out of the backfield. But he's a natural at catching the football."
Redshirt junior running back Trelon Smith, who leads the team with 469 rushing yards this season, will take over the full-time starter duties for the Hogs.