RECRUITING: Byers has college coaches drooling

Loveland, Colo. offensive lineman Jeff Byers is one of the top linemen in the nation. But do the Sooners have a chance?


Without question this big man is the best center in the country and every single collegiate coach in the country says that Byers is the best offensive lineman in the country.

"It for sure makes me think that I am going to have to work harder to maintain that kind of status," said Byers. "It just makes me think that I still have a lot to prove this year to uphold that kind of status."

According to high school coaches at various clinics, Sooner veteran Coach Bobby Jack Wright has told them that Byers is the very best high school offensive lineman he has ever seen. When you think about the fact that Coach Wright has seen over 2,500 offensive linemen in his career, that is an even more incredible statement.

"I feel very honored to be regarded that way," said Byers. "Coach Wright is a very good guy and a great coach. To hear that about me from him is a great honor for me."

Byers can bench 385 pounds, squats 515 and he has a 30-inch vertical jump. Byers starts in hoops (13 ppg, 8.8 rpg) and he throws the discus (159'10) and the shot (52'9 3/4) in track.

Byers is a very athletic big man, but it is his attitude that sets him apart from all other.

"I feel like I go hard all the time and I don't think I take any time off," said Byers. "I take a mean attitude to the field and I go onto the field with my mind set to kick the crap out of the guy in front me. I think my intensity sets me apart."

Byers went to the Nebraska, Wyoming and Colorado State camps this past year. Byers is going back to the Wyoming team camp this summer and to the Nebraska camp with a couple of his buddies. Byers has 26 scholarship offers on the table and probably more are on the way.

"I don't feel I really have any favorites right now. It is too early in the recruiting process," said Byers. "I am just trying to keep my options open and trying to get a feel for the recruiting process. I have been talking to just about everybody evenly and I really don't want to give any names because I am not trying to play any favorites. It has been a tradition at our school to go to the Nebraska summer camp, but I wouldn't say I like them any more than anybody else. I think the same about them as I do anybody else."

With Byers so wide open we had to ask if he has an interest in Oklahoma.

"Oklahoma has a great program and they are always contending for the national title," Byers said. "They have all the things that I am looking for and I have an interest in them. I went to Norman for the final week of spring football on an unofficial visit and that went well. I enjoyed that visit and was impressed with the program. They have a quality program with quality coaches and it is just an impressive program. They deserve to get looked at."

Since Byers is so wide open at this point in the recruiting process you figure that he won't make his decision soon.

"I will make the decision when I feel like I have a feel for all the schools and when I feel it is right for me," said Byers. "I don't have any kind of timeline or have any set pattern to what I am going to do. When I have it figured out then I will make my decision. That could be before the start of my senior season or after I take visits after my season. Right now I am not sure that I will take any visits, but I figure that would be the best way for me to find out what I need to find out about certain schools."

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