TORONTO - Jim Barker doesn’t mind waiting a little bit longer to get a proper look at Cory Boyd.
The Argonauts released Boyd when he suffered a concussion more than a week ago, but they kept him around, ensuring the 24-year-old would get a fair shot to showcase himself.
Boyd was added to the roster on Friday and will take part in full workouts next week, after the Argos play host to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in a pre-season game on Sunday.
Barker shot down the theory that Boyd was told to stay in town because the Argos are thin at the running back spot, especially with imports.
“No, no,” Barker, the Argonauts’ head coach, said after practice at Huron Park on Friday.
“He has some special qualities. He is a slashing runner and he is great out of the backfield catching the ball. He has not had a lot of breaks (in life).
“I want to make sure he got every opportunity to make this good for him.”
Drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the seventh round of the NFL draft in 2008, Boyd did not last long with the Bucs. He was released that October (it probably did not help his time in Tampa that he reportedly got into a scrap with Bucs teammate Aqib Talib at an NFL rookie symposium not long after the draft) and was signed by the Denver Broncos to their practice roster the following month, but did not dress in a game. Boyd, whose college days were with the South Carolina Gamecocks, was waived by Denver in March of last year.
The Boyd that was signed by the Argos in March is a religious man who was married in January 2009 and changed his workout schedule drastically in the off-season at home in Aurora, Colo. Boyd often began training at midnight, going until 4 a.m., so his schedule would balance more with his wife Brittany’s work hours.
“I wanted to spend time with my family (his wife and a cousin) when they got off work,” Boyd said. “When they went to sleep I went to work out. It planned out well.”
That passion on the part of the 6-foot-1, 214-pound Boyd impressed Barker. Now, Boyd wants to re-pay Barker’s faith. The decision to hang on to Boyd looked a lot smarter when running back DeCori Birmingham retired suddenly on Wednesday.
“Not too many people get the opportunity to come back, and I’m grateful the organization kept me,” Boyd said.
“There are a lot of guys who are fighting for positions and mentally I have been there with them. Physically it will take a little time to re-focus.
“I have seen so many running backs come in since I got hurt.
“But they must see something great in me, and I will try to contribute.”