O'Brien, Archer Visit Byrd

Pahokee (FL) standout cornerback Jarvis Byrd has continued to land offers after verbally committing to NC State in mid-November. Pack Pride checks in with Byrd for an update on his recruitment!

When Jarvis Byrd committed to NC State, he was flying under the recruiting radar. Byrd held offers from Troy, Ball State, Southern Miss, Arkansas State, Alabama State, Buffalo, Western Michigan, and Florida Atlantic before NC State jumped into the mix, but very few of the high-major programs had expressed major interest.

This caught Byrd by surprise, as he is one of the top players at Pahokee (FL) High School, one of the best football programs in the state of Florida. After winning this year's state title, Pahokee has now won three-straight Class 2B state championships.

"I know I can play because I play against good players all the time and I'm all over the field," said Byrd. "In all of our big games I go against the top receiver and play cornerback... I just played against Rantavious Wooten from Glade Central, he's going to Georgia. That's my job though when we play a big-time receiver... I get to cover him."

High school games aren't the only time that Byrd is challenged. Playing for Pahokee, he faces top talent on a daily basis as the school annually produces recruitable athletes. Wake Forest standouts Demir Boldin and Alphonso Smith attended the school, as did Florida State tailback Antone Smith and ex-FSU star Anquan Boldin.

This year's team featured wide receiver Nu'keese Richardson, who is committed to Florida and athlete Vincent Smith, a Michigan commitment. Last year's squad was led by wideout Martavious Odoms, who is a freshman at Michigan and cornerback/wide receiver Janoris Jenkins, who is a Florida Gator. With that type of skilled talent in the program, practices are fierce at Pahokee.

"I think that's why we are so good," said Byrd. "I'm always being challenged and so is everybody on our team. I get to go against my teammates all the time and last year I did that with Martavious and Janoris too. It makes us all better and that's why we are always winning."

After landing an offer from NC State, Byrd waited a couple of weeks before committing to the Wolfpack. Shortly after announcing his decision, Byrd received offers from Wake Forest, a program he has already officially visited, and Florida State.

Despite the interest, Byrd maintains that he's still committed to the Wolfpack.

"I would say I am a medium verbal right now," said Byrd. "I just want to go up on my visit and make sure I like the players and the campus. I was supposed to visit this weekend but I'm going to be playing in an all-star game so my visit will now be January 15th. I'm ready to get up to NC State and check it out."

On Monday, Byrd and his family received a visit from NC State head coach Tom O'Brien and defensive coordinator Mike Archer. The two coaches wanted to discuss Byrd's commitment and his academics with the talented athlete.

"Coach O'Brien and coach Archer came by this week... on Monday," said Byrd. "It went good. They were talking to my parents mostly because they know I already know what's up with NC State. I know where I am at with them so they were talking with my parents more than me.

"They asked me how serious I am about my commitment to NC State, and I told them I was very serious. They were also asking me about my grades and were wanting to see my new transcripts too. I'm going to get them my transcript before I go up for my visit."

What does he think of coach O'Brien?

"Coach O'Brien is a very good coach," said Byrd. "He's honest, and he's going to let you know what he expects from you. They want me to come in and contribute right away and play early. They are wanting me to come in and play boundary corner because Gray is leaving, he's probably going in the fourth round, and they want me to go there and play hard-nosed football.

"I think highly of them because both of the coaches were being honest with me. I'm looking forward to going on the visit to NC State and if everything goes well then that's the team I'll be signing with on Signing Day."

Byrd continues to hear from Wake Forest and other teams, but hasn't spoken with Florida State recently. With a visit to NC State scheduled for next week, Byrd plans on taking two other visits before Signing Day.

"Wake Forest is still recruiting me, and FAU came by my house today," he said. "I used to talk to Florida State once a week, but I haven't talked with them since I messed up my phone.

"The weekend after I go to NC State I'm supposed to visit FAU. Then on January 30th I'm going to visit Florida State... Florida State or Southern Miss., one of those two."

As it stands now, NC State is out front. The Wolfpack are recruiting the hardest and Byrd still considers himself a commitment. "They are recruiting me harder than anyone else so they are my No. 1 school right now," said Byrd. "They are my No. 1 school by far. They are recruiting me hard, I talk to the coaches the most, and I have a good bond with them.

"Really it's going to be hard for any school to pass them... I guess for me to go to another school I would have to like their players better on my visit and the atmosphere would have to be better to beat NC State out."

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