2013 Top 25 player countdown: No. 23

No. 23 Tyler Boyd, WR, Pitt

Previous ranking: None.

Making the case for Boyd: You know you had a really good season when you start breaking records that belonged to NFL All-Pro receiver Larry Fitzgerald. Indeed, Boyd eclipsed the school freshman receptions and receiving yards records that Fitzgerald set in 2002 with an impressive rookie campaign for the Panthers, catching 85 passes for 1,174 yards and seven touchdowns. Boyd also ranked No. 2 in the ACC in all-purpose yards, averaging 136.6 per game en route to FWAA Freshman All-America honors.

He announced himself as a major player to watch within the first month of the season, with three consecutive 100-yard receiving games against New Mexico, Duke and Virginia. In each game, he had highlight reel catches all over the field showing off his athleticism and elusiveness. But lest anybody forget how good he is going to be headed into 2014, Boyd ended his season with the best day of his career, compiling 242 all-purpose yards in a 30-27 win over Bowling Green in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. He had eight catches for a career-high 173 yards and added a 54-yard punt return for a touchdown. The receiving total set a Pitt bowl record.

The countdown:

  • No. 24 Jack Tyler, LB Virginia Tech

  • No. 25 Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech