Ex-Last Chance U Star, Arkansas RB Rakeem Boyd Signs UDFA Contract with Lions

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMay 2, 2021

FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2019, file photo, Arkansas running back Rakeem Boyd carries against Western Kentucky during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Fayetteville, Ark. After a promising 2018, Boyd was a breakout star in the Southeastern Conference with 1,133 yards rushing and eight touchdowns last season.   (AP Photo/Michael Woods, File)
Michael Woods/Associated Press

Former Arkansas running back Rakeem Boyd, who previously starred in Netflix's Last Chance U, signed a contract with the Detroit Lions after going undrafted in the 2021 NFL draft.

Boyd announced he reached an agreement with the Lions on Saturday.

"Swear ima make em pay.. been in this position before," Boyd wrote regarding the teams that passed him up in the draft.

Arkansas Razorback Football @RazorbackFB

5️⃣ on his way to Detroit! #ProHogs https://t.co/MHrZQqRPfM

Boyd—a superstar prep running back with a tragic backstory after his family was displaced during Hurricane Katrina—was one of the most notable stars of Last Chance U. He transferred to Independence Community College for the 2017 season after spending one year at Texas A&M, rushing for 1,211 yards and 14 touchdowns to earn a scholarship at Arkansas.

In three seasons at Arkansas, Boyd rushed for 2,176 yards and 13 touchdowns. His injury-plagued senior season ended after only six games as he left school in December to further prepare for the NFL draft.

"People know what I can do when healthy," Boyd told Jason Butt of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Y'all saw fall camp, stuff like that. Not to be cocky or anything, but I was a 1,000-yard back. The year before I almost hit 1,000 yards. I already showed that I had enough film that I could step up to that level. I was ready for that level already."

The Lions also drafted Oregon State running back Jermar Jefferson in the seventh round, so Jefferson and Boyd will likely compete for a roster spot in camp. Detriot will bring back incumbent backs D'Andre Swift and Kerryon Johnson, and the team also signed Jamaal Williams in free agency.

The likey battle between Boyd and Jefferson in camp may be determined by which player proves he can help out on special teams.