Byers Will Have to Wait

Despite a solid camp performance, Justin Byers left Chapel Hill Tuesday afternoon without a North Carolina scholarship offer. Although a nagging injury held him back, Byers will find out for sure Thursday if an offer is on the table from UNC.

"Coach [Marvin] Sanders talked to me and told me since my hip and my pelvis were bothering me the whole time that he wanted to get a couple of game tapes I played before my hip and stuff started bothering me to see my explosiveness before my injury," said Byers. "He said I did an excellent job covering [Tuesday] and that I had a good performance, but he still wants to see that explosiveness. He said that after Coach [Jeff] Simpson sends [my film] up, I'll probably know Thursday night [if I have a UNC offer]."

Personally, Byers, a 6-foot 175-pound cornerback from Charlotte (N.C.) Vance, wasn't happy with his performance during the camp since his injury limited his ability to play up to his potential. However, in just two camping sessions, Byers intercepted five passes during one-on-one passing drills, including three in the second session. He also ran an unofficial 40-yard dash time of 4.5 seconds.

Although Byers only participated in the camp Tuesday, he – as well as friend Ryan Houston – showed up on campus Monday morning to check things out for a day.

"[Monday] a former student of UNC gave us a tour of the campus like the student union, the cafeteria, and showed us where all the lecture halls are," said Byers. "She just gave us a general tour about everything, what goes on at Carolina, the classes, and things like that."

Following his stay in Chapel Hill, Byers admits his feelings towards the Tar Heels have strengthened for many reasons, but he emphasized the family-oriented atmosphere and defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach Marvin Sanders.

"Ever since they started recruiting me, I've liked Carolina," said Byers. "I was talking to Ryan [Houston] when we were there [Monday], I told him ‘Man, being around Carolina makes me want to go there.' It's just the atmosphere up there, talking to the coaches, players that are coming in next year like I talked to Aleric Mullins – I talked to him [Tuesday].

"[Mullins] was being recruited by the same schools as me. I asked him what made him choose UNC and he said it was the unity of Carolina. Normally people are like ‘You need to come to this school or that school.' But at Carolina it's ‘You need to come join the family.' When you come to Carolina to play football, it's a family affair. When you come up there and get around the players, they're like a family.

"Coach Sanders, I trust him like I trusted our DB coach from last year. He's telling me things and making changes to make me a better player. I like that I can listen to a coach and know that they are telling me what's for the best. He broke me down and told me what to do and what I didn't do on each thing."

Last week, Byers received a verbal offer from Marshall – his second. Since the spring, Byers has held an offer from N.C. State.

Regarding favorites, Byers continues to only look at his offering schools.

"It's still the same – N.C. State put that [offer] on the table," said Byers. "So that's the only school I'm really looking at right now. If the Carolina offer comes in that's when I start looking at them."

Byers hopes to make a verbal commitment before the start of his senior season to avoid distraction, but might wait it out for additional offers.

On Saturday, Byers will camp at Clemson and then camp at Virginia Tech in July. He also might squeeze in a camp at Virginia over the summer.

As a junior, 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.

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