Zack Boyd ’10 is off to a good start in the college admissions process after being accepted early to the University of South Carolina and North Carolina State University. “I got the South Carolina decision in the big envelope, which is always a good sign. I got the decision from NC State the same day. Theirs was a small envelope that said ‘The Big Envelope’ on the side,” said Boyd. Boyd learned of the decisions on the first Monday he was home for winter break. “I was really happy,” he continued. “They’re both good schools.” Boyd’s opinions are partially influenced by the schools’ proximity to his home in Fayetteville, North Carolina. “I want to either go back south or somewhere out west,” he said. “My sister and some of my friends went to NC State, so I [have] always felt comfortable with it.” “SC has good International Relations and International Business programs, which is what I want to major in,” he added. After Boyd received his early acceptances, he focused on applying to more competitive or “reach” schools, rather than his “likely” or “possible” schools, since he had already been admitted to his two favorite “likely” or “possible” schools. “I just reached for the stars,” said Boyd. Boyd applied regular decision to the University of California-San Diego, Davidson University, Furman University, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Vanderbilt University, the University of Virginia and Wofford College. As the captain of the Varsity Football team, Boyd hopes to be recruited by a college football program. Though he has had contact with various coaches, he has not committed to any school. “I’ll try to walk on [to the football team] wherever I go,” he said, in the case that he is not recruited. “I’m still waiting. Hopefully I’ll be able to go on some visits. I’m looking at a few Division I-AA schools right now,” he said. “You’re never too sure [in the recruiting process]. Coaches get fired and move around a lot, especially this time of year. You might be at one place, and then suddenly you’re somewhere else. I have to wait until late January or early February. That’s when you know whether you’re in or out,” he continued. Boyd was in such a situation with Georgetown University, where a recent round of firings affected his chance to play there. Because Boyd was injured over the summer, he was unable to attend recruiting camps that coaches use to find players. To make up for his absence, he created game tapes of his most impressive moments on the field to send to colleges. “I sent tapes out to almost 30 schools. I sent film everywhere, big and small, all the way out to Montana, a lot of random places,” he said. “You can contact them,” he added, “but it’s a better sign if they contact you. Some kids already have offers, but right now for me it’s a waiting game.” Boyd also has some interest in the military academies and University ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) programs. All applicants to Military Service Academies need a nomination from a senator or congressman from their state. They must also submit an initial application and standardized test scores, and pass physical examinations. “Senator Patrick Leahy wrote my nomination for the service academies. I had to take some physical fitness tests, but there isn’t really anything else to do for them. I’ll hear back about that in January,” he said. Boyd is applying to the U.S. Naval Academy and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Because neither service academy is recruiting, he hopes to walk on to the football team if admitted. “It’s a great opportunity to get disciplined and focused, and start with a good foundation for life,” he said of the military academies. “I’m definitely going to do ROTC [if I don’t go to a military academy]. I’m still waiting to see what scholarships I get. I applied for the Army and Marine ROTC, and hopefully I’ll get to have both options,” he continued.