‘There will be an uptick’
Football is a game of adversity. It’s one of the first things every kid learns the first time he puts on pads. Yet, there was no way to possibly prepare for the situation Boyle was stepping into.
UConn was humbling for Boyle, who began playing football when he was six. Already an established passer by high school, Tim drove with Kevin to camps all across the East Coast – from Syracuse to Temple, Boston College to Florida.
Tim opted to stay in-state after a coaching change at Boston College allowed him to re-open his recruitment. To this day, Boyle remains accountable for what his UConn stat sheet reads: 133-of-275 for 1,237 yards, one touchdown and 13 interceptions in 19 appearances with the Huskies.
Not once, however, does Boyle offer an excuse. Neither does he bring up how he was thrown to the American Athletic Conference wolves as a true freshman in 2013, when the original plan called for him to redshirt that year.
Instead, Boyle smiles while recounting how two of his first four starts came opposite Blake Bortles and UCF, and Teddy Bridgewater-led Louisville in back-to-back weeks. UConn lost those games by a combined score of 93-27, which came near the end of the team’s nine-game losing streak.
“We had to try to find the positives, keep him motivated,” Kevin said. “Tell him, ‘Things will get better. There will be an uptick, Tim. You’ll get an opportunity. The rollercoaster can’t be on the bottom. It’ll go back up again.’ We kept saying stuff like that to motivate him. I was always there to give him a hug at the end of the game.”
Boyle, to his credit, tried to make it work despite being in and out of the lineup over the next two years. He contemplated transferring after his sophomore season but stuck it out.
His dedication created one highlight-reel moment in 2015, when Boyle entered a game in the first quarter against then-undefeated Houston and led the Huskies to a 20-17 victory. The upset made UConn bowl-eligible for the first time in five years.
It was a brief reprieve. By the St. Petersburg Bowl, Boyle was again on the bench. Once the season ended, he spoke with his parents and finally decided to transfer to Eastern Kentucky.
“They probably had their opinions on (UConn), but they were consistent,” said Boyle of his parents. “Their love for me shined through that. That’s what, as parents, should happen naturally, but when I tell you there were some negatives where it was me just not in a good place, they were there to pick me up no matter what.”
Anointed the starting quarterback after sitting out the 2016 season due to transfer rules, Boyle had a good enough year at EKU to get NFL scouts buzzing. A solid pro day put him on the radar of the Packers, who made the 6-foot-4, 232-pound quarterback one of their 30 official team visits.
Boyle went undrafted but signed with Green Bay to compete for a spot behind the two-time MVP Rodgers. Boyle’s family was floored. He was on the doorstep of his dream.
“When I first got here, I’m playing with Aaron Rodgers. That’s a little intimidating at first,” Boyle said. “But then you realize he’s a regular guy. He puts his pants on the same way I do every morning. He comes in, I sit right next to him and say good morning every morning.”