In the end, it's Clemson

ROCK HILL - Three-star defensive end Roderick Byers originally committed to Oregon, but signed with Clemson on Wednesday.

DE Roderick Byers Profile

Shortly after his late-January official visit out west, Byers committed to the Ducks. A few days later, he informed the coaches at Oregon there was a change in plans.

"I talked to the them a couple of days ago, a couple of days in advance, because I felt if I was going to do something, I needed to be fair," Byers told CUTigers at Northwestern High School on Wednesday afternoon. "I needed to be up front, because this is a serious situation. This is the next four or five years of my life."

It was a recent conversation with Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney that set the wheels in motion with the Tigers.

"When I talked to coach Swinney, the first time I talked to him, he really didn't know what kind of guy I was. I asked him," Byers said. "He was talking about football and school. I asked him, ‘Where do you stand with God?' That just opened up the door."

He, Swinney and recruiting coordinator Jeff Scott, who recruits the area, had a lengthy discussion about faith.

"That's just something that I was looking for in a football program," Byers said.

But there's still an appreciation for what was on the table in Eugene.

"Oregon is a great school. They have great people there, a good program. They're taking big steps. I could see myself there," he said. "I was kind of confused, but I just prayed…there wasn't a doubt in my mind. I know I made a right decision."

The offer from Clemson, though it came late, "wasn't just a spur of the moment thing."

"It kind of started back my junior year. They told me on the phone that they wanted to offer me, but I had to go to the campus to get it, officially," Byers said. "I never did get to make it [then]. Some other things came up. We kind of lost touch a little bit. They started offering other people."

He visited Tigertown during his senior season at Northwestern.

"I saw them and told them I was still interested, and then we picked back up and touched bases. A scholarship came available, and I was able to take it," Byers said.

As a senior, he finished with 98 tackles, seven sacks, eight quarterback pressures and two forced fumbles.

"Roderick is just a good kid, such a good kid," said Northwestern head coach Jimmy ‘Moose' Wallace. "I couldn't be happier, because he's such a great person. Coach Swinney's getting a good one, both on and off the field."


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