Luke Boyd is an impressive individual. In 2013, at twenty-six years old, Boyd—a Marine, an overseer for ROTC, a husband, a father, and a student—walked onto the Louisiana State University football team. Boyd was one of the few athletes who made the LSU Tigers football team as a walk-on, and his path to one of the top Division I football programs was decidedly unorthodox.
Boyd attended a year of college at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey. For that year, he played receiver for their Division III football program, but he soon moved to Louisiana, where his girlfriend (now wife) ran track at LSU. Luke couldn’t afford to go to school at LSU, and with the struggling market, money was one of the reasons he decided to enlist in the Marine Corps in 2008.
Boyd deployed to Afghanistan in 2010, and for six months he built operating bases. Boyd also participated in the Marine Corps football league, and in 2011 he received MVP honors, which provided him with the unique opportunity to announce a pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Behind the scenes of the NFL Draft, Boyd located Les Miles, the LSU head football coach, and informed him that he would be attempting to walk on to the LSU football team. Coach Miles immediately recognized that having an athlete on the team with Boyd’s experience could “be a big win . . . for the program.” (qtd. in Rosetta's article in Gridiron Now)
In 2013 Boyd became a member of the LSU football family. He attended college with the goal of becoming an officer in the Marine Corps, and while he worked toward that goal, he was able to fulfill his dream of college football:
“Playing for this program has helped me be able to continue to develop things like teamwork and camaraderie . . . I’m able to bring a mental toughness that I didn’t even realize I had developed.” (qtd. in Rosetta's article in NOLA)
While Boyd may have not made an impact on the field, his presence as a standout teammate was irrefutable, and Boyd flourished in his role as an advisor to his teammates, professing the values and mental strength that he learned as a Marine:
"The main thing I can tell kids is that it's not about you. It's about the guy next to you and trusting he's going to do his job and that the best way to achieve something is to work as a team." (qtd. in Rosetta's article in NOLA)
Luke Boyd graduated LSU in 2016 with a degree in Construction Engineering, and he has achieved his goal of becoming a commissioned officer.