By Elwyn Henderson
It’s been a bit of a crazy NFL season for Gilmer’s Kris Boyd. After having spent his entire career with the Minnesota Vikings he moved on to the Arizona Cardinals to begin the 2023 season and things didn’t work out there. He was cut about early in the regular season and then landed on the Houston Texans Practice Squad in early November. After learning the Houston defensive system he was moved up to the Active Roster on December 11th and he got plenty of special teams playing time on Christmas Eve when Houston hosted Cleveland at NRG Stadium.
The Mirror caught up with Kris after the game. We began our visit by asking him if he was not indeed happy to be back in his home state of Texas and on the Texans active roster.
“I told my family when I got the news that I think this is the happiest I’ve been since I’ve been in the NFL. Getting drafted was great. I enjoyed that too. That was a great experience but I thinking this will mean something because I’m back home, you know. With family here it’s just like going back home and playing for Gilmer or UT. It’s in the city at home and it’s a blessing. It was cool in Minnesota but I’m far from home there; still in the NFL and it was a blessing to be there as well, but coming back here, like it’s different now.”
We asked him if he was less than excited when he made the move to Arizona, and he replied, “Yeah, it was tough but at the same token, you know, I had just made it up in my mind when I got there to just have fun with it and take the experience as a learning experience and whatever happened, happened. I still know that I’m here to play football and I love that. At the end of the day that’s what keeps everybody going. If you’re not playing for the love of the game I don’t know what you’re doing; you’re just wasting your time. When I came here it was a whole other mindset. I’m like yeah, I’m home. I don’t care what happened. I’m glad to be here. Every time I’m out there it’s 100%.”
It is well documented that Houston Coach DeMeco Ryans is a player’s coach and we asked Kris his thoughts on his new head coach.
“He’s a great coach. I realized that and noticed as soon as I came in here. I heard the guys talking about him and the first team meeting and how he approaches the team every week with that same mindset, the same positivity. You know, you never see him down. He holds his head up high and he plays his role well. I love his demeanor; I love his mindset of being aggressive, being the first to make the play. You want to have that type of coach and you want to be that type of player for that type of coach as well. Like I said, I feel like I’ve been blessed to land here and especially be back at home and also be a part of this organization, and then I feel like it’s something special around here in the locker room. I’m blessed that these guys took me in. I’m blessed that the coaches accepted me and I’m just ready to roll, man and I’m just glad to be here and I’m taking advantage of every opportunity I’m given.”
Before we finished up we wanted to turn our conversation to the Gilmer Buckeyes and their State Championship win this season. We asked his thoughts on the team’s success in 2023.
“Man, people were hitting me up and saying ‘man, y’all tanking this year’ and stuff and I said ‘It’s all right. We’ve got some good guys down there; we’ve got a group down there and the coaches as well.’ I played for those coaches so I know what they’re made of and I know what those young guys are made of and what they go through with the Buckeye Maker and stuff like that. To do all that is not easy. I wasn’t too worried about it. I got my break after Arizona and I had like a couple of weeks off. I went back home during the Yamboree and I went to the game and like I said, we’re not worried about it. When I showed up and went to the game the score was like 48-7 at halftime and I went into the locker room.”
“When I first got the news that Gilmer lost those games, I’m like when I go back there I’m going to get on their ass, but I got to the game and I’m like they’re doing what I said was going to happen. They flipped it over and flipped the switch and they were taking care of business now. Coach Metzel wanted me to talk to the guys and I was like it ain’t much I’ve got to say now, but me being who I am, loving the game, loving back home as well, there’s a lot of tradition that goes there. I said something to the guys during the game, but I went to the Yamboree and you know everyone goes there after the game. Those young guys got all around each other and I know where everyone is and where they’ll be and I saw they were all there. I grabbed them all. There was a nice group of the team there
and me and my brother Demarco Boyd were just giving them a real talk. We told them ‘what y’all did tonight is what Gilmer football is. I was like the stuff y’all did, that don’t matter right now and that’s now us. I know what the tradition is here and we don’t lose. When we got out there on the field or anybody we’re playing or any district conversation, that’s about who’s going to take second place. It’s always been like that and it needs to stay like that. We don’t fear anybody—everybody fears us. When we go out there they’re looking like how are we going to get it done because these guys are coming to win. When we play football and get ready for any game preparation throughout the week they’re figuring out what they have to do. We know what we’re gonna do and it’s been like that the whole time.’ I told them to strap it up. And I told them it wasn’t going to be easy but they were in a position to make some history right now. It’s about what you do with it. They went and handled it and I love that, you know! I told them I appreciated them and to keep the tradition going and what happens, just make sure you’re out there giving it your all and enjoy it.”
We concluded by asking Kris what he would say to Coach Alan Metzel, Coach Tommy Edwards and all the coaching staff and the team and the Gilmer Buckeye fans about winning the State Championship again.
“Man, I love ya’ll, I miss y’all. I’ll be around more. I’m proud of y’all that we got another one. It’s a blessing. Y’all did what ya’ll were supposed to do and y’all deserve it. Everybody deserves it. The community deserves it, the players deserve it, the coaches deserve it and their families deserve it. It’s a blessing man. Take advantage of it. You are now part of history! Enjoy it!”
You can readily see that Kris has grown into a man that everyone in Gilmer can be proud of and cheer on as he moves forward with his NFL career. Hopefully, he can remain in Houston until his career is over. It is a good fit and you can see the happiness in his eyes and his smile.