Ryan Byrd couldn’t have predicted the injury that put question marks on his recruitment process, especially given that the Greensburg, La. native wasn’t scheduled to play in the summer league game that left him with a broken leg.
When the team was short on bodies, the coaches asked Byrd to suit up. Shortly thereafter, he was on the way to the hospital.
“I went up to dunk the ball and another guy ran into me, and when he fell he came down on my leg,” he said.
Following a surgery and summer months spent carrying crutches, Byrd is set to begin rehab this week – a quick turnaround according to doctors.
“I saw my doctor (July 20) and he was impressed at how quickly I am back on my feet without pain, and he expects that I could be back to full strength by October, and maybe even before then,” Byrd said. “I think I’m ahead of schedule, for sure. I feel normal walking on it, so not having that limp is good for me right now.”
While the 6-foot-2, 180-pounder has been unable to compete on the camp circuit this summer, Byrd did make a late appearance to the LSU Elite Camp last week – where a few Tiger coaches seemed surprised that the rising senior was able to walk without the assistance of crutches.
“I came out to the fields on one of the last days, and right away (wide receivers) coach (Billy) Gonzales and (defensive backs) coach (Ron) Cooper came over and checked on me,” Byrd said. “They were definitely shocked to see me walking freely like that.”
After the Tiger coaches rolled out three defensive backs commitments – plus Paul Turner – over the past two weeks, it appears that LSU could be nearing the end of their pursuit at the position.
Despite an injury that could keep him out of his entire senior campaign, college coaches outside the Bayou State remain hot on the trail of one of the state’s top uncommitted athletes.
“The schools still recruiting me the hardest are Mississippi State, Memphis, Kansas and Tulsa,” Byrd said. “For a while I thought that I might shut things down and commit to Memphis, because I look at it as a great fit, and I know guys like Stevie Douglas will be up there. At the same time, I’m looking at the chance of coming back and hopefully playing some this season. That could bring some more offers my way, so I’m just going to keep tabs on each school and see how things roll.”