"Auburn is No. 1 right now," Byrd explains. "The expectation that I had, ‘Maybe they're just recruiting me at receiver just because I've got a little bit of ability,' but it's way beyond that. Coach (Greg) Knox didn't really talk about football. It was mostly academics. That goes deep because you've got a coach that cares about you and wants you be a successful athlete. It blew way past my expectations of what I thought it was going to be."
Coach Knox, Auburn's receivers coach, is recruiting the 6-3, 210-pound prospect while Tim Hawthorne was his player host for the weekend.
"Everything was real good," Byrd says. "I enjoyed it, and it just blew past my expectations. Coach Knox, he presented himself good by the academic standpoint--not only the football thing. He let me really know that Auburn is really interested in me. It's in my top two schools. Hopefully in the next week or two I'll come up with my decision. I really enjoyed myself--the people, the place, everything, the whole town, the weather. I'm not used to hills. That's a big thing for me. Where I'm from we don't have hills. So yeah, it was a great experience and I enjoyed everything about it."
With the hire of Tony Franklin last month to run the offense, receivers are at a premium in this year's signing class for the Tigers. Byrd was able to spend time with Franklin on his visit, and he has also gotten some input on the new offense from cousin Rashad Roussell, a defensive lineman at Troy where Franklin spent the last two seasons.
"If I was getting recruited by Auburn the last two or three years I probably would have never came," Byrd says of the old Auburn offense. "I thought it was a running school. When I saw the bowl, 90 snaps, that's impressive. I talked to Coach Franklin. I know he was at Troy because my cousin Rashad goes to Troy. He was telling me about him. He's looking to sling the ball around a lot. He's going to four and five-receiver sets, and that's a receiver's dream.
"They've got a good group of quarterbacks coming back to the program," Byrd continues. "They've got a chance to win the SEC Championship next year and they've got a chance to win a National Title next year. All of the coaching staff is great. I talked with Coach Franklin and I really enjoyed it--the film he showed me about his players this year and his system."
In addition to Hawthorne and Franklin, Byrd hung out with several of the other receivers and checked out the academics that the university has to offer. Byrd plays on majoring in Business Management with a minor in Marketing.
"I met a couple of the players like Rod Smith," he noted. "I thought those guys were bigger than me, but come to find out I'm taller than them. I met a couple of the players and I met a couple of Kappas. It was cool. I watched that in movies and now I got a chance to see that in real life. It was amazing. I got a chance to tour the campus and check out the business management thing."
Byrd's list of college choices includes Auburn, Miami, Tennessee and LSU. As far as future official visits, he says, "This might be it. I've got a visit to Mississippi State (on Jan. 18) and I don't have I have anything at the end of this month. In February I know I've got a visit to Miami (on Feb. 1). This might be it. Me and my dad are going to talk about it. I told Coach Knox that I'm going to get in touch with him in the next two or three weeks. I might talk to him the week before signing day and let him know my decision."
Click here for the full list of official visitors. Below is a list of other recruits to talk with Inside the Auburn Tigers about their visits this weekend. Click on their names for the reports.