Chris Boyd knows he can’t change the past, so he’s spent the last six months working on his future.

The former Vanderbilt receiver, who was dismissed from the team for his after-the-fact involvement in an alleged rape, hopes to prove he’s not the villain some might think. He also wants to show he’s ready for the NFL despite sitting out the entire 2013 season.

He’ll face a discerning audience next week at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.

“I was raised to be polite and have manners. If I just be myself, I think people will understand that I am a good guy, I come from a good family, and I mean well,” Boyd said. “I would never want to hurt anybody or do anything harmful to anyone. I think once people get to know me and spend some time around me, it will be pretty obvious. I’m not a bad guy.”

How well Boyd sells himself to NFL scouts, coaches and executives figures to be even more important than how he performs in speed, strength and agility drills at the Combine. His football-playing future could depend on it.

In the wake of a scandal that resulted in four teammates being arrested on charges of aggravated rape, Boyd disappeared from the public eye following a September court appearance. He finished classes at Vanderbilt and has been training in Dallas in preparation for the NFL Draft on May 8-10.

Boyd said he’s in great shape and feels re-energized and motivated. One NFL draft expert said the 6-foot-4½, 210-pounder could greatly improve his draft stock with a good showing in Indianapolis. Yet he also should expect to be “grilled hard” about what took place in a Vanderbilt dorm last summer, a former NFL scout said.