There isn't a defining moment Lawrence High senior Ekow Boye-Doe can point to as a shift toward becoming a better football player.
Instead, it was a gradual process that’s paid off in the summer prior to his senior season.
A two-way player at receiver and cornerback, Boye-Doe has received scholarship offers from Missouri State, Northern Iowa and Northwest Missouri State in the past month.
For him, it’s just a sign that all of his hard work is being rewarded.
“He’s kind of evolved into a really good football player,” Lawrence coach Dirk Wedd said. “You could start seeing it last year. He caught the ball really well. He started playing corner the way we thought. He’s probably a Div. I corner.”
Boye-Doe, who was listed at 6-foot, 149-pounds last year, made 21 catches for 330 yards and three touchdowns during his junior season. Even if defensive back is his likely landing spot at the collegiate level, the Lions count on him for production at receiver because of his explosiveness.
“He touches the ball and something good happens,” Wedd said.
Boye-Doe started attracting attention from college coaches when he participated in individual camps at Kansas State, Northwest Missouri State and the Sharp Performance Kansas combine.
With around 600 players at the Sharp combine, which was held at the end of April, Boye-Doe ranked second in an agility drill and 10th in vertical leap. He was clocked at 4.38 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the Northwest Missouri State camp.
“He’s going to blow up,” Wedd said. “If he has a good fall, he can play at a very, very high level. There’s a lot of phone calls (from college coaches) right now saying we’re going to follow him. It’ll be exciting for him, but he’s got to do it out on the field.”
Boye-Doe said he started noticing improvements on the field during the summer after his sophomore year. He credited his weight training with Fred Roll, and once his confidence started building, his mindset on the field became more aggressive.
“He’s as long as all get out,” Wedd said. “He’s got a nose for the ball. He’s going to hit you. He was a little shy as a sophomore. As a junior, we started saying, ‘You know, he’s a tough kid.’”
“I was little bit soft sophomore year and freshman year, for sure,” Boye-Doe added with a laugh. “But it’s changed.”
That change has helped the Lions become a better team on both sides of the ball. They surprised opponents last season with a strong start to the year, finishing with a 6-4 record.
Boye-Doe, who has been playing football since the second grade, has embraced his upcoming senior season. He said he feels “more in control” on the field, especially on an offense that will return several starters.
“I’ve always wanted to play football, but probably like sophomore year was when I was really attacking it,” Boye-Doe said. “I was really starting to work for it.”
Boye-Doe is happy with his progress, especially his recent college offers. But that only drives him to put more hours into his training on the field and in the weight room.
“I mean I think I’ve for sure worked for it,” Boye-Doe said, “and I’m just going to keep working.”