Byers to NC State

NC State has landed another commitment from an in-state product, as Charlotte (NC) Vance defensive back Justin Byers verbaled to the Wolfpack coaches today.

After mulling over the decision for two weeks, Justin Byers decided to head up to Raleigh, visit NC State, and make a verbal commitment to the Wolfpack.

"I talked it over with my parents and it seemed like the thing to do," said Byers. "I committed to Coach [Chuck] Amato. I'm on my way back from [NC] State right now. I went up there this morning."

Byers, a 6-foot 175-pound cornerback, was attracted by NC State's academics, possible playing time, and - most importantly - how highly they regarded his skills as a recruit.

"The academics for one - my mom liked that, and the fact that I talked to the coaches and they told me if I come up there and work, I can play early as a freshmen," said Byers. "I think that was a deciding factor. They put it on the table with an offer basically saying 'We know you can play, we want you.' Other schools like Carolina, I go there to the camp and I still leave with no offer. I could be waiting on nothing.

"State was like 'You got a chance to play your freshmen year. And not like here and there, I'm talking about reps every game. And not just special teams, like getting in there and covering people.'"

NC State was the only school to extend Byers a scholarship offer, but his decision came down to two in-state ACC rivals - the Tar Heels and the Wolfpack.

"I've been thinking about it for the last two weeks or whatever and I've talking to coach [Dick] Portee and coach [Dave] Brock back-and-forth," said Byers. "I was going to do what Coach Brock and Carolina wanted me to do. He said something about wait until August for an offer. It made me feel like I'm not on top of their list.

"I was talking to coach Portee and he said 'If a school really, really wants you they will offer you.' I looked at that and put a lot of thought into that. After thinking about it I realized it wasn't just a recruiting pitch it was the truth."

Although his commitment is firm, Byers might still make other campus visits. At the very least, he'll join good friend Ryan Houston, who committed to UNC, on trips to Chapel Hill.

"If Ryan asks me to go to Carolina with him, I don't have a problem going up there," said Byers. "If I ask him to ride up to State with me, I bet he'd go."

As a junior at Charlotte (N.C.) Vance High School, Byers shared a secondary with Virginia signee Rico Bell, but was still able to total 75 tackles, and three interceptions. On offense he caught four passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns, and added two more scores on punt returns.

"Byers is a nice-sized cornerback with great lateral movement and adjusts well to the ball," said Recruiting Analyst Miller Safrit. "He sits well in zone coverage and moves well to the ball. He lacks fluid footwork and top-end speed is a concern to some.

"Still, he is a very dependable cornerback that is willing to work, shows a good break on the ball, follows opponents out from their breaks, and locates the ball and makes plays on the pass."

Byers is the Wolfpack's 10th commitment in the 2007 class, and the eighth from the state of North Carolina.

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