Irish move up for Tyler Boyd

Notre Dame offered ESPN 300 athlete Tyler Boyd (Clairton, Pa./Clairton) several months ago, and while initially high on the Fighting Irish, contact between the parties tapered off. Boyd did not have the Irish among his favorites a month ago.

Over the last few weeks, though, communication has picked up as Boyd and Irish assistant Harry Hiestand have exchanged messages on Facebook recently.

“They’re really excited about me,” said Boyd, who is being recruited mostly as a receiver. “I’m one of the top guys on their list, and they want me to come and see everything they've got to offer. I’m probably ... definitely going to take a trip out there and see how it is.”

Boyd, a four-star prospect who sits at No. 161 in the ESPN 300, has yet to make it out to Notre Dame as he has not made many visits. At this point, he does not know too much about Notre Dame except for its history and that it’s a “huge, great program.”

Ole Miss, Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia and Wisconsin join the Irish among Boyd’s favorites. The 6-foot-1, 175-pound senior was talking with Ohio State during the summer, but he never worked out for the staff at a camp.

One program no longer finding itself in that group is Penn State following the NCAA sanctions it had levied against it July 23.

“That hurt, all the sanctions,” the No. 7 player in Pennsylvania said. “I would love to go to a school where I can play hard and make it to a bowl game. I don’t want to be under the radar my whole college career.”

Boyd is not crossing the Nittany Lions off his list, though. When the sanctions were first announced, Boyd said a key factor in whether he will continue to look at Penn State will be if the 2013 class remains intact, specifically if Christian Hackenberg stays. The nation’s top quarterback announced last weekend he is sticking with Penn State, preventing Boyd from pulling the plug just yet.

“They still got great talent, still got great players,” he said, “so I’ll still consider them.”

No official visit dates are set.