"Big" Byrd Off to a Fast Start

It's been an exciting start to the recruiting season for wide receiver/defensive back <b>C.J. Byrd</b> from North Augusta High School in North Augusta, S.C. The last few weeks have seen offers from some of the top programs in the country. GoBlueWolverine Magazine called Byrd to find out if Michigan was one of them.

With 16 offers already, including North Carolina, Penn State, Florida, Oklahoma, LSU, Georgia, Maryland, Tennessee, Auburn, Clemson, Vanderbilt, Illinois, Virginia Tech, South Carolina and Virginia, DB/WR C.J. Byrd is off to an exciting start. "Today was a slow day, no offers," Byrd said jokingly Thursday night. "Illinois was the first to offer. A friend of mine, (wide receiver) Andre Young, is playing there now."

The offers this week for the 6-foot-3, 184 pound "Big" Byrd include Penn State, North Carolina, and Florida. North Augusta coach Joe Long told TheInsiders Miller Safrit that the Florida staff thinks very highly of Byrd. "(Defensive coordinator Charlie Strong) told us that C.J. was, hands down, the top college prospect in South Carolina, and one of the best in the nation." Long said.

So, has Michigan jumped on the Byrd bandwagon? "No offer from Michigan yet but they have been sending mail," Byrd said. "Right now I'm interested in all schools that are interested in me, so if Michigan wants to get more interested than I'll certainly be considering them, who wouldn't?"

Byrd is a defensive back with 4.5 speed in the 40 who played wide receiver for the first time during his junior season. He's taken a liking to the position and while he's said in the past he'd like to play both ways in college, he told GBW, "I really want to play wide receiver in college. Most schools are recruiting me at that position." He caught 37 passes for 536 yards last season. On defense he recorded 92 tackles along with two sacks and two interceptions. As a kick-off returner he had two 100 yard kickoff returns for touchdowns.

The talented young man camped at Georgia and Auburn last summer, and isn't certain about his camp plans this summer, though he says he'll almost definitely camp at South Carolina. "I've been to Junior Days at (South) Carolina, Clemson, and Auburn already this year," Byrd said. "I'll be going to Tennessee this weekend for their Junior Day, and I'll probably visit Georgia next weekend for theirs."

Two schools may hold a slight edge in the early part of the process. "I'm looking first at academics," Byrd said. "But I also want to go to a school that will win championships. I want to play for a coach that has a good relationship with his players and I would like to get on the field early. Right now LSU and Oklahoma have the best possibilities in every area, but it's still early and I don't plan in deciding until after my season. I might even wait until Signing Day." Byrd carries a 3.1 grade-point-average and scored an 890 on his SAT, so he is fully qualified.

The Michigan Insider Top Stories