Byrd fighting for starting spot

ATHENS – Kelin Johnson has been fighting for the starting job since last fall, and this fall will be no different thanks for C.J. Byrd.

Johnson is listed one spot above Byrd on Georgia's pre-season depth chart, and that's not changed. But Byrd said he's pushing Johnson as much as he can.

"It's been good play so far," said C.J. Byrd of his position fight with Kelin Johnson at safety. "He's been showing the ropes since day one."

Byrd admits that it may be difficult to take over the starting spot from a guy who is showing him what to do.

"I do think it will be hard but it's a good fight right now," Byrd said.

The North Augusta, SC native played in all of Georgia's contests last season but did not start. The majority of his work came on special teams. He excelled on kickoff coverage, but did tally eight tackles in limited playing time in the secondary. Byrd said playing last fall gives him an advantage now.

"It helped me a lot," the sophomore said. "Leaning all of the plays before the game, studying film and going on the road all helped me."

Expect Byrd to play tons of minutes this fall. He said he's looking to make an impact starting at fall camp, and that he's ready to have a breakout year.

"I think I am coming out of my shell and stepping it up," Byrd said. "I came in with a different focus this fall. I don't think the coaches got a look at me that I wanted them to this spring. I want to give them a different view this fall."


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