When Christian Bangura transferred from Largo High School to Fairmont Heights last year, one of the first people to welcome the rising senior was classmate Demetrius Boyd. The two quickly became friends and developed chemistry on and off the football field.
“We have a real close relationship,” Bangura said during a Monday interview. “He really got me settled and he's been by my side.”
Since, Boyd, an expected starter this fall at wide receiver and cornerback for the Capitol Heights school, and Bangura, who is set to start at quarterback and safety, have been inseparable, attending several offseason combines and camps together, including last month's USA Football National Team Development Games in College Station, Texas, in hopes of raising their college recruiting profile.
“Those two have been working so hard since last season ended,” Fairmont Heights second-year coach Jeff Johnson said. “Being such a small school, we don't get as much attention and it can be harder for individual guys to get attention. So, I told them that going to camps and combines are very, very important to get their name out and for college coaches to see them. Fortunately, they got a look and did well against good competition.”
Boyd and Bangura attended a USA Football regional camp at Gallaudet University last winter and from their performance, both received an email inviting them to the Texas-based event, which is used to evaluate and select players for the 2015 U.S. National Team that competes against Canada in the International Bowl. They participated in individual position drills and 7-on-7 games.
“It was cool,” said Boyd, who played wide receiver at the camp. “We go to play with and go against some pretty talented guys from around the country. It was a new experience — personally I feel like I learned and benefitted from a few things they showed us about how to adjust to the ball in the air.”
“I really learned how to play better man-to-man coverage,” Bangura said. “I played nickel corner, which was a little different for me, a lot and covered guys in the slot. I feel like we both did really well.”
Both said they have yet to garner any official scholarship offers, but have received interest from several schools.
“They've dedicated themselves to getting bigger, faster and stronger,” Johnson said. “They will be fine and I expect them to be playing in college.”
Bangura and Boyd agreed that spending time together during the offseason should help Fairmont Heights this fall on both sides of the ball this fall.
“We actually have a pretty good sense of each other,” Bangura said. “Demetrius has a good feel for running routes and knows where to be based on the defense or if I am [scrambling].
“Defensively, it is just about getting in the right coverages.”