I had the opportunity to speak with 6'-1" 250lb Defensive End Wes Byrd of Farmington High School and his father David Byrd about Wes' upcoming season and the possibility of Byrd moving to the next level and becoming a collegiate football player.
At this point elder Byrd told me "He (Wes) is flying under the radar other then New Mexico, New Mexico State, a few Ivy League schools, and some JUCO / DII schools are all asking for film of Wes' 1st couple of games."
Obviously playing at a small school in a small state Wes is one of those types of players that can be considered a diamond in the rough. Playing for Farmington and being 250lbs. Wes also plays Center for the Scorpions and David Byrd said, "we think he might play some offensive guard this year as well."
While Wes does play both offense and defense he feels that DE is where he is going to fit in when colleges come calling. "I think my ability to pass rush and be a disruptive force are my strengths as a football player," said Wes. I asked Wes what makes him a good defensive end, "I think it is a combination of my quickness, strength, and aggression are my strengths.
Okay Wes well what are some of the things you have to work on? "I have to work on my speed and more strength," said Byrd, "and I would really like to gain 10-15 lbs. We have a really good strength and condition coach and program here at Farmington so I believe I can do it."
Being a diamond in the rough guy Wes has to go out and try to make a name for himself, not only during the season, but during the summer and that is exactly what the Byrds have tried to accomplish as last month they spent time in Albuquerque participating in Rocky Long's football camp where Wes Byrd was named as one of the best Defensive linemen during the camp. Byrd also participated a couple of weeks later at New Mexico State's camp. Unfortunately, the Aggies didn't send any defensive coaches up to Piedra Vista for the camp so I'm not sure how much evaluation really took place with Hal Mumme's group. Also Wes Byrd told me that later this month he would be attending Colorado State's camp.
I asked Wes what he thought about Rocky's camp and he said, "I really liked it as I was able to pick some pass rushing techniques and was exposed to what UNM's programs expect from their defensive linemen. All the coaches that were helping the linemen came up and really showed me a lot of things."
Both Wes and David told me that the Lobo asst. coach responsible for recruiting the Farmington area is Danny Gonzales and the he approached the Byrd's about seeing more tape from Wes. "We went to UNM's football camp last month," said David Byrd, "and all of the coaches came up to us including Danny Gonzales who is responsible for this area, he said that the coaching staff really liked the way that Wes moved and would like to see some more tape of Wes playing this year."
The 1st couple of weeks of the upcoming season will be very important for Wes Byrd as he and hundreds of New Mexico HS athletes try to secure a college scholarship or opportunity to walk-on to a D-I campus. I know that he is working out in the mornings and getting ready for the upcoming season one that Wes assures me will be a good one for the Scorpions.
"The best bit of advice I received at Lobo Camp," said Wes is when "Coach Gonzales said I have the motor to play college football but I have to keep working hard and getting better."
And that is exactly what he is going to do as this Scorpion has some Sting!