Nick Boyle isn’t just swapping sides in a bitter rivalry. He’s switching positions, too.
The former Ravens tight end is trying out as a long snapper at the Steelers’ three-day rookie minicamp this weekend.
“I’m serious,” Boyle said Friday about the audition, per Brian Batko of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Let’s go do it. It’s not a joke. That’s not what I want it to look like, because it’s not.”
Drafted by Baltimore as a fifth-rounder in 2015, Boyle recorded 121 receptions for 1,049 yards and four touchdowns in 90 games (53 starts) over seven seasons.
The Delaware product was always more of a blocking specialist than a big-play receiving threat, but a 2020 injury that resulted in a torn hamstring, meniscus, PCL and MCL sapped the remainder of Boyle’s route-running prowess and ultimately hastened his hopeful transition into the realm of NFL long snapping.
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Boyle’s career as a tight end came to a close on Baltimore’s practice squad last season. He had caught just one pass for two yards in his final two years with the team.
Then, he participated at Maryland’s Pro Day in March as a LS, a natural transition given his injuries and continued love of the game.
“I was snapping to a Fisher Price basketball hoop in my driveway,” Boyle said of working at the new position. “My wife didn’t want to catch the balls. I hit [the backboard] sometimes. Sometimes, it goes in the road.”
And the journey has continued to a tryout with Pittsburgh, surrounded primarily by new draftees and undrafted free agents.
“I love being around this stuff,” the 30-year-old Boyle said. “I feel old, that’s for sure.”
No matter his age, the tight end-turned-snapper could still catch on with the Steelers if he proves his worth over the rest of the weekend. For now, the tryout presents a new challenge with his old team’s most hated foe.
“I still love Baltimore,” Boyle said. “Have a lot of relationships there, but this is just unique and different, and it’s exciting.”
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