Byrd: "It Meant A Lot"

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Redshirt senior Jarvis Byrd is just days away from running out of the tunnel in Carter-Finley Stadium, and he can't hide his enthusiasm.

Redshirt senior Jarvis Byrd is just days away from running out of the tunnel in Carter-Finley Stadium, and he can't hide his enthusiasm.

"I'm too excited," said Byrd. "I can't believe it's almost here. I can't lie... I'm going to wear my emotions on my sleeve. I might even let out a tear or two when I run out on to that field."

Pack fans looking for Byrd will need to look for a different number. After previously wearing No. 14 and No. 9 during his career, Byrd will now wear No. 1 after being awarded the number by head coach Dave Doeren on Wednesday morning.

"It wasn't my decision," said Byrd. "I wanted it at first, but I went with No. 9, and then coach Doeren had a meeting with all of us this morning. He told the team that I've been through a lot of adversity and I didn't have to come back. He said that I showed a lot of loyalty and a major commitment to the program, and he wanted me to wear the No. 1 jersey.

"He said my decision to return showed my unselfishness and I do everything that I'm supposed to do. He talked about how I didn't miss study halls, I went to class, I've graduated, and how he thinks I'm a great example for the younger guys to follow."

Doeren's words to Byrd's teammates meant a lot to the sixth-year senior.

"He didn't have to say all of that," said Byrd. "It meant a lot. I don't think he knows how much it meant to me. It shows that he respects me and cares for me a lot.

"Coach Doeren wants the young guys to see that no matter what the adversity is you can still overcome it. Don't be mad at the small things. When you're tired and feel like you can't go harder in practice, push through it. Go 100% at whatever you do."

Die-hard NC State fans know Byrd's story. He tore an ACL for the third time in his career midway through last season, and after being awarded a sixth-year of eligibility by the NCAA he is back in the rotation at safety for the Wolfpack.

"I'm good enough to play," he said. "I was about 82% prior to fall camp, and at that point I could get on the field and do physical activity. I'm about 90% right now, so I'll be ready for the first game.

"Josh Jones and Hakim [Jones] are running with the one's, and I'm at two behind Josh Jones. We also have Germaine Pratt at two with me, so we're working hard right now."

Byrd believes the depth is certainly a positive for the Wolfpack.

"We have a better rotation now so if anyone gets injured the next guy can step up," he said. "Last year when I went down we had to move Dontae Johnson to safety in the middle of the Wake Forest game and he was the starting cornerback. The guy had no experience.

"Just having depth is a big thing for us."

One season left at NC State for No. 1, Jarvis Byrd.

"It's almost here," he said, smiling. "I can't wait, but for me, it's all just a blessing from God."

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