As a football fan, the period of May-July is the worst time of year. Nothing - and I mean nothing - happens outside of team practices (which are pretty cool to follow, but still). There's only so many times you can argue on social media about how good/bad the Chargers are going to be next year before it gets tedious and you start putting on highlights from the Chargers win over the Seahawks in 2014. For the sixth time. That week.
With that in mind, I'm going to be bringing you 90 articles in 90 days, with each day focusing on a different member of the Chargers 90 man roster - but the focus is less on the player's footballing history, and instead more of a personal look, focusing on the human behind the player. If everything goes to plan, this series will end on the 13th August - the day of the Chargers first preseason game.
Up first in 'Around the Bolts in 90 Days: Brett Boyko.
Name: Brett Boyko
NFL games played in: 0
Games played for the Chargers: 0
Fun fact: Boyko played QB in his last year of high school - when he was 6'7 and close to 300 pounds!
Brett Boyko was born on the August 4, 1992 - in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. In fact, in an article from The Sports Network Boyko said that "There was a time I didn't know what the NFL was. Before I found out what the NFL was, the initial goal was to play in the CFL."
Boyko must have felt that his childhood dreams were coming true, therefore, when his impressive career as a four-year starter (mostly at LT) at UNLV meant that he was the #2 ranked prospect heading into the 2015 CFL Draft (the #1 prospect was current Texans DL Christian Covington). However, CFL teams knew that the NFL was a likely prospect for the talented Boyko, and so he slipped to the second round of the CFL draft, going at #14 overall to the BC Lions.
While Boyko didn't get drafted into the NFL, he chose to head into camp with the Philadelphia Eagles as an UDFA - probably helped by the fact that they gave him a very generous $20,000 guaranteed as a signing bonus. He was released and then signed to the Eagles practice squad, but released in May 2016, and the Chargers quickly signed him up. He spent the majority of last season on the practice squad, and signed a futures contract in January 2017, giving him a chance to come and compete for a roster spot again this preseason.
Off the field, Boyko is smart. Very smart. He was a three-time Academic All-Mountain West honor student and was a member of the UNLV Dean's Honor List. He graduated with a degree in Psychology in just 3 and a half years and was reported to be pursuing a second degree in Public Administration, but I can't find any information on whether or not he's completed that second degree. However, he thinks Kellen Clemens is a legend, so I have to question whether his football IQ matches his off the field IQ.
Boyko seems to be one of those people that are just naturally good at sports. As well as football, Boyko was a three-year letterman in baseball in high school and played club lacrosse and club hockey growing up. Hockey, in particular, is a big passion of Boyko (unsurprisingly), and if he could play another sport he'd like to be a left winger for the Montreal Canadiens, who he supports.
What did I learn from his Twitter page? Well, he's a big fan of Harambe.
Saturday's are for the boys... Sunday's are for Harambe!!— Brett Boyko (@bboyko69) September 7, 2016
Can't wait for the Harambe snapchat filter— Brett Boyko (@bboyko69) September 4, 2016
He's also essentially one step away from a ninja:
4 for 4 on killing flies in the last two days— Brett Boyko (@bboyko69) May 5, 2017
How does anyone go 100% on killing flies? They're absolutely impossible to catch. They... well, fly. Sign this man to a multi-million dollar deal now.
On a more serious note, Boyko strikes me as just a very normal, down to earth kind of guy. The Chargers have a lot of depth at OL and I'd be very surprised if Boyko manages to stick around on the team, but he has a future in football, be it in the NFL or (more likely) in the CFL, where he still has interest from teams.
Even if he doesn't pursue football, or if football doesn't work out for him, I think Boyko will do just fine in life. He's very talented, very smart, is hard-working and comes from a strong and supportive family, with his two parents and an older and younger brother.
Whatever Boyko may end up doing in life, I wish him the best of luck.