The 6-4, 225-pound tight end from Thomasville, N.C. was receiving interest from schools like North Carolina, Clemson and Wake Forest before committing to the Pirates. When Butch Davis took over as head coach at UNC, Byrd took a visit to Chapel Hill. In the end, however, he stuck with ECU.
"I'm anxious to get up there and help them out however I can," said Byrd. "The coaches have told me they want me to play at around 250 or 260 pounds, and right now I'm around 235. I need to add that weight, but I think I'm going to play pretty early. I don't know if I'll be on special teams or tight end right when I get there, but I should see the field."
When asked why he chose East Carolina, Byrd pointed to the coaching staff, the current players and fan support.
"All the guys that are in the program right now were a big factor in my decision," said Byrd. "I got along with all those guys when I came in for my official visit. I felt really comfortable here. I also knew Brandon Setzer from back in high school. He was the big star from Thomasville. When he was a senior I was in eighth grade. We would go to all the games to watch him play. It was good to see him up there.
"Coach Kirkpatrick, their receivers coach, was the one responsible for recruiting me. He did a good job because we got along real well."
While the Pirate coaches want Byrd to hit the weight room and add some muscle, the Thomasville native is athletically gifted.
"I'm a really good blocker, and when they call on me to catch a pass I get the job done," he said. "I step up to the plate when it's time to make a big play."
Byrd said his academics are fine and he plans on arriving for fall practice.