ARCATA — Finally reaching the pinnacle of football success – a spot on an NFL roster – Taylor Boggs can now prove he belongs, matching himself against the best professional players.
The former Humboldt State center was among those remaining on the 53-man roster following the Chicago Bears' final cuts Saturday. After proving himself worthy throughout the preseason, Boggs is bearing the fruit of his persistent pursuit of excellence.
As the final roster trimming approached, the Bears' coaching staff put Boggs in the starting lineup for last week's preseason finale against the Cleveland Browns. The former Lumberjack stayed in the entire game, providing first-year head coach Marc Trestman and staff a thorough assessment of his skills.
After finishing his college career in 2010, Boggs was signed as an undrafted free agent by the New York Jets. in 2011 He impressed coaches during early workouts before a torn knee ligament ended his season before it started.
Working with former NFL all-pro LeCharles Bentley at his O-Line Performance training centers in Ohio and Phoenix, Boggs rehabilitated from his injury and worked himself in to top condition. But another year passed before the Bears offered the Upland, Calif. native a chance to make his dream come true.
One of nine offensive linemen remaining on the Bears' roster, Boggs is listed No. 2 on their depth chart behind returning starter Roberto Garza. It will be a week-to-week decision as to whether he'll be included among the 45 uniformed players on game day.
Boggs, who arrived at HSU in 2006 following a redshirt season at University of Pikeville (Kent.), was set to begin his collegiate career as a 220-pound tight end. But under the tutelage of HSU strength and conditioning coach Drew Petersen
, he sculpted his frame into the 6-foot, 3-iinch, 285-pound lineman that eventually caught NFL scouts' attention.
By the time his collegiate career had concluded, Boggs was honored as an American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) first-team All-American, Daktronics Super Region 4 first team choice, and was named Great Northwest Athletic Conference Offensive Lineman of the Year. He was a three-time all-GNAC first team selection.
In 2010, Boggs led the blocking for HSU's running game, which accumulated a GNAC best 2,239 yards. He also anchored a unit that ranked 5th overall among NCAA Division II programs for least quarterback sacks allowed, surrendering only eight in 11 games. Boggs was ranked No. 13 among all centers in all divisions nationwide in ESPN's preseason NFL draft rankings.