East Ascension Rising Defensive Lineman Recruit Jerrell Boykins Jr. Playing For Bigger Purpose Than Himself
by Jace LeJeune
East Ascension High School has always been known for their great defensive line play, especially since it is the same high school that produced arguably the greatest defensive lineman in LSU football history in Glenn Dorsey (Kansas City Chiefs/San Francisco 49ers). Most recently, the Spartans produced another talented DI defensive lineman prospect, and his name is Deshon Hall, who is now starting at Louisiana Tech. Because of their great track record at the position, it is always natural for Spartans fans to look at who the next great defensive player may be for their program. In 2020, that player just so happens to be three star prospect Jerrell Boykins Jr.
“I move very well for my size and my have a high game IQ,” Boykins said.
Boykins also happens to be 6-4, 295 pounds and can play either defensive tackle or defensive end. He has also gotten the chance to learn under his predecessor.
“Deshon Hall is my mentor,” Boykins said. “He taught me how to be a varsity player. He took me under his wing and made me a better defensive end. He taught me that no matter the size or speed of a player, you can beat them mentality more than physically.”
Boykins intimidates opponents mentally before they even go up against him because of his size and athleticism. Still, the rising East Ascension star is working on the physical side of his game even more than ever before.
“I need to work on my first step and my third move,” Boykins said.
Like many other pass rushers that Boykins has studied including the likes of Cameron Jordan (Cal/New Orleans Saints), Aaron Donald (Pittsburgh/Los Angeles Rams), and Myles Garrett (Texas A&M/Cleveland Browns), the versatile defensive lineman has his favorite pass rushing move.
I like the long arm because it gives me separation and allows me to see in the backfield while controlling the offensive lineman,” Boykins said.
Also, his experience throwing the discus and shotput has also helped elevate the pass rusher’s game.
“Track helps with body control and mental toughness,” Boykins said.
In terms of mental toughness, the 1st Team All-District selection is already as tough as they come after losing both of his parents at a young age.
“I play for something bigger than myself or just my family,” Boykins said. “I play for my late parents who look down on me.”
Playing in the NFL is obviously the ultimate goal, but for the Paetow (TX) High School transfer, it is not just himself that he wants to meet that goal.
“I see myself in the NFL with a big happy family and taking care of my grandma and close family,” Boykins said.
There is a great chance of that happening as there are plenty of DI football programs already offering him a scholarship.
“I have a total of 14 scholarships, but my five official scholarships are Kansas, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Arkansas, and Texas State,” Boykins said.
Knowing that this is a big decision of which school to enroll in, Boykins is taking his time to make sure that he is making the best choice, especially during the COVID pandemic.
“Before COVID, the recruiting process was heading in a great direction,” Boykins said. “I was preparing to take visits all summer, but now, it’s still thriving. I can’t get a true feel for a school until I have been on campus and seen the community.”
For now, he wants to make sure his late parents, the rest of his family, and the school community are proud of him during his senior season.
“I want to win a state title, but my personal goal is to break the schools’ single game sack record,” Boykins said.
If Jerrell Boykins Jr. can set both of those goals considering the great defensive linemen to come out of East Ascension, he is well beyond his way of reaching his career goals.
Click the link to check out Jerrell Boykins Jr.’s junior highlights:
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Jace is from Addis, LA but resides in Port Allen, LA. Jace attends Southeastern Louisiana University and is majoring in Communications. This is Jace’s fourth year as Associate Editor at Louisiana Football Magazine. He is also a graduate from Catholic High School in Baton Rouge where he was the editor of the school newspaper the “Bearly Published.” While at CHS, Jace also announced their football, basketball, and baseball games for the Bruin Broadcast Network which is the Catholic High’s streaming website for their events. On weekends, Jace is the PA announcer for his middle school football games. At home, Jace enjoys time with his family and friends. Besides being a huge football fan, Jace is also an avid NHRA drag racing fan.