Florida Speedster Likes Hoosiers

Ida Baker H.S. star Joseph Byrd has caught the attention of the IU coaching staff, and it's for more reasons than just his :10.4 speed. Byrd talks about his interest in the Hoosiers and some other recent scholarship offers...

Bloomington – One of the fastest high school players in the country isn't in an hurry to make a decision.

Ida Baker (Fla.) H.S. speedster Joseph Byrd already has scholarship offers from Indiana, Minnesota, Iowa State and FIU, but his intentions are to wait for a while before making any announcements on where he'll play his college football.

"I'm probably going to wait until after my senior season is over," Byrd said.

The 5'10", 165-pound running back/defensive back figures to be worth the wait. A 1,500-yard rusher this past season for Coach Brian Conn's team, Byrd is also a track star who has been clocked at :10.4 electronically in the 100. While some question whether he's big enough to weather the beating that an every-down running back takes at the D-I level, his attributes translate well to both cornerback as well as special teams.

Indiana was one of the first schools to take notice of Byrd's abilities, and Assistant Coach Billy Lynch was the first to offer Byrd a scholarship back in March. The Hoosiers have visions of luring Byrd as well as his close friend, Fort Myers' athlete Tre Boston, to Bloomington as part of their 2010 recruiting class.

Byrd might not be close to making a decision, but he says there's a lot that he likes about the Hoosiers.

"I was excited when I got their offer since they were my first one, and I'm really glad they did offer me because I like the school and I'm interested in them a lot," Byrd said.

A chance to play early is a selling point for Byrd, as is the fact that IU's football renovation will give it the nation's largest weight room facility. Those have been two of the Hoosiers' primary selling points with Byrd, who said he plans to make a trip to Bloomington in July to take a closer look at the facilities and the campus.

Byrd's trip to Bloomington won't be a short one, but he said at this point distance isn't going to be a big factor when it comes times to make a decision.

"It doesn't really matter to me where it is – I just want a chance to play college football," Byrd said. "I'm more interested in what kind of areas the school is on, what kind of people they are, and what my mom thinks."

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