The wait is over

For Timothy Byerly, 2010 has been full of ups and downs. He led his team to a 15-0 record and a Georgia state championship, was named the AAAA player of the year and put up mind boggling statistics while doing so. At the same time he was dominating on the field, he was growing frustrated away from it. Despite the facts that the stats were adding up, the scholarship offers weren't.

Timothy Byerly Profile

For Byerly, the whole process became draining. Week-in and week-out he heard from big name programs who dangled the possibility of an offer. Michigan, Pitt, Wake Forest, Vanderbilt. Week-in and week-out the possibilities fell through and he was left scrambling again.

"Every single day I'd be on Scout or Rivals looking at this school or that one to see who had de-committed," Byerly says. "For me and my situation it was a new school every week. I'd been let down so many times."

At the same time Byerly was waiting for that elusive offer, his high school coach was working the phones trying to make it happen.

"Coach Crowder called around trying to get me an offer and a few staffs were gone so we lost connections there," he says. "Most schools nowadays commit their quarterback over the summer and shape their class around him, which is understandable, but in this case I had to wait until the last minute."

While Tim waited, Rick Stockstill and his staff at Middle Tennessee were growing concerned about the high school quarterback they desperately needed to land in their 2011 signing class. Signal-calling prospects came and went from their big board and eventually they found themselves with Byerly's name sitting on top. The Blue Raiders weren't new to Byerly, who says that the staff had been in contact with him as early as last Summer.

"They were going after this kid they didn't think they'd get and I was next. That was the reason for me a lot of places," says Byerly. "The reason they didn't offer me sooner is because Coach Stockstill didn't have his qb coach in place so he didn't want me to commit to a coach who was gonna get released, which is definitely acceptable."

Because of the fluid offensive coaching situation, Byerly had to wait yet again, but this time it worked out. Middle Tennessee came through with an offer and an invitation for an official visit the final weekend before national signing day.

Timothy Byerly
"I got my offer on Tuesday and Coach Stockstill came on Wednesday or Thursday. At that point in my recruiting I was calling around to coaches asking for a greyshirt," he recalls. "I had taken my official to Furman and I didn't really fall in love with the place, but wasn't going to be the type of guy to commit to Furman over the summer when I had an offer and wait for something to come along because I just don't believe in decommitting."

So that weekend, Timothy and his parents loaded up and headed to Murfreesboro for a crucial visit. Luckily for both sides, it was a good one.

"When I went up it was exactly what I needed. From a player's standpoint I got to hang out with all the players and all of them were talking to me about why I wanted to come to MTSU," Byerly recalls fondly. "The first thing everybody said to me was we're going to be really, really good next year. These guys said they turned down offers from all these SEC/ ACC schools just to play for Coach Stockstill."

Byerly says the fact that all the players were on the same page gave him a certain level of comfort with Middle Tennessee. In addition to that, he also connected with his player host for the weekend, Jason Rexroad.

"My parents and I were talking about that last night. He was the perfect guy to hear stuff from, since he is right out of high school," Byerly says. "He said it might be too good to be true about what Stockstill says, but everything he's ever said has happened. He treats me like I'm his son."

Although he was impressed with the school and the staff during his visit, Timothy knew in advance that he wouldn't commit to the Blue Raiders during his weekend in Murfreesboro. He's gotten to know the staff at West Point thanks to the fact that his brother is in school up there and he got some solid advice from them ahead of making his visits.

From talking with them, he knew what he was looking for: a good program with a great coaching staff. As much as he liked what he saw on his visit, Tim decided that he'd take a day or two to see if he felt the same way. After thinking on his own and discussing things with his parents, Byerly finally made his decision.

"I wasn't necessarily a guy with a ton of options, but I got the only option I wanted and that was to play for Coach Stockstill," Byerly says.

So early the next week, Byerly called his future coach to tell him he wanted to commit.

"He was really excited. He was kinda blocking off another recruit to get a hold of me on the phone," laughs Byerly.

In the end, it wasn't the fact that Byerly had limited options that led him to Middle Tennessee as much as what the program had to offer. In addition for a desire to play for a coach like Stockstill, Byerly makes sure to note the fact that there are three former quarterbacks on the current Blue Raider staff. Stockstill quarterbacked some of Bobby Bowden's earliest Florida State teams, newly promoted offensive coordinator Willie Simmons played at both Clemson and the Citadel and quarterbacks coach Buster Faulkner spent his college career taking snaps at Valdosta State.

Along with fellow quarterback commitment Shaun White, Byerly solidifies a position that has been the source of much joy and sorrow for the Blue Raider faithful over the past couple of years. While JUCO transfer Logan Kilgore is likely to get the nod for starter in 2011, Byerly has had conversations with the staff about playing this upcoming season.

"That was the first thing Stockstill brought up, the depth chart. He said ‘Timmy I don't care if you're a senior or a freshman, the best player plays. You have a good opportunity to come in and show me what you can do.' It's not so much playing time, because rarely do true freshmen come in and win the job right away. I feel that that offense is perfect for me as a player and I think that that will at least help me prove myself a little bit more."

Blue Raider fans should definitely rejoice in the fact that his long, winding road led Byerly to Murfreesboro. Since signing day many regional and national recruiting analysts have stated that Middle Tennessee landed a true steal in the Georgia native.

In the end, all of the waiting and all of the frustration led Timothy Byerly to his next home. Now that the pressure to find that home is off of his shoulders, Tim can focus on what he does best: win.

Extra Extra

The stats: 2,664 passing yards, 30 TD's/ 2 INT's; 1,509 rushing yards, 21 TD's

The measurables: 6-1, 218 lbs.

On talking to his future O-lineman: "First thing I told Jason and Micah [James] was the first thing I'm gonna do when we get up there is buy you guys' dinner."

On his PS3 skills: "Some of the guys asked me what other schools are recruiting you and I said Wake. One of the guys handed me a PS3 controller and said, ‘Alright. I'll be MTSU and you be Wake Forrest. If you win, you can go to Wake, but if I win you commit tonight.' I played as Wake and got my butt beat. Then he said welcome to the Blue Raider family."

On potential playing time in 2011: "They took my height and weight [on the visit] and said that's off the scale. They said dang, we'll have to put you in for some goal line situations."

Stay tuned to BlueRaiderZone.com for more on Timothy and the rest of Middle Tennessee's 2011 signing class.

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