Brandon Boykin admits he had mixed feelings when he learned that Asher Allen was leaving Georgia early to apply for the NFL Draft.
"I was not expecting him to leave but at the same time I knew this did give me the opportunity to show what I could do," Boykin said. "If he had stayed I would have learned more from him, but with him gone it did open an opportunity for me and now I'm just trying to prove that I can play in the SEC."
As the Bulldogs continue their summer conditioning program, Boykin appears to be the man to beat for the job for Allen's old spot at short corner.
Despite the arrival of talented freshman Branden Smith and Jordan Love, Boykin's solid spring, coupled with his knowledge of Georgia's defensive scheme, would seem to have him in position to line up opposite wide corner Prince Miller when the Bulldogs open their season at Oklahoma State.
"It's just preparing in the film room, that's where it starts for me. That was one thing that separated Asher from what I saw. He was always prepared. He knew what the offense was going to do and that allowed him to make a lot more plays," Boykin said. "That's what I tried to focus on this spring, just get more familiar with the playbook and I feel like I have. I feel more comfortable at the position and like I told him I feel like I can see things develop a lot quicker than I did so hopefully that will let me get in there and make more plays."
Boykin was no stranger to playing time his freshman year.
The former Fayette County standout saw action in all 13 games for the Bulldogs, chipping in with six tackles in limited playing time.
Boykin said being able to take what he sees on the film to the practice field is what's made the biggest difference of all.
"A lot of people, that might take a while," Boykin said. "It took a while with me as a freshman but now I feel like it's coming together, and that's what's happened."
Allen, who has been in town working out before returning to Minnesota where he will be a rookie this year, no doubt is very pleased.
"There were just little things about cornerback that he taught me as far as looking at receivers' stances, splits and things like that," Boykin said. "He told me about things he picked up on later in his career that he didn't get as a freshman. He told me those things early and I feel I can use those this year."
Although his workout times have been different than that of Smith and Love, Boykin says the pair appears to be picking up Georgia's defensive scheme just fine.
"As far as the pass skel and the film room they're getting it pretty good. They're coming in, they're eager to learn, that's what I like about them," Boykin said. "Jordan and Branden are both trying to learn and it pass skel we're teaching them the techniques as we go along. They're still making mistakes because they're young players. I still make mistakes, but as long as they keep learning they'll be pretty good and help us win this fall."
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