2011 speedster visits Rutgers

One of the fastest football players in the state off New Jersey was on the Rutgers campus to watch the Scarlet Knights homecoming win against Texas Southern. The class of 2011 player talks about his recruitment, his early offers, what he knows about Rutgers and how his season is going.

One of the fastest underclassmen in the state of New Jersey is Timber Creek Regional High of Erial, N.J., running back Damiere Byrd, who got an up-close look at Rutgers when he attended the Scarlet Knight's 42-0 homecoming win against Texas Southern.

During the unofficial visit, the class of 2011 Byrd said he spoke to Rutgers assistant coaches Brian Jenkins and Robb Smith, and also got to see the Scarlet Knights weight room.

"I liked it up there,'' Byrd said. "It was real nice up there. I went up to the recruiting tent before the game, and after the game I went to talk to some of the coaches.''

The 5-foot-9, 151-pound Byrd said he viewed it as an informational trip, and came away wanting to learn more.

"They're up there right now,'' Byrd said. "I don't really know too much about them. That's why I'm interested in learning about them.''

Byrd said he has verbal offers from Temple, James Madison and Syracuse. He also is interested in a bevy of other schools, including Michigan and Florida.

What has schools excited about Byrd is his speed. He ran a 6.39 (seconds) in the 55 meters in the state sectional championships, and as a sophomore finished third in the New Jersey meet of champions, clocking in at 6.48 seconds over 55 meters.

However, Byrd wants to show he is more than a speedster. He spent the offseason working with the running backs to improve his agility and balance.

"I think I'm running the ball better than I did last year,'' Byrd said. "This year we're actually lining up in the I (formation) more. We have a young quarterback and we're trying to build his confidence.''

Timber Creek is 4-0, and Byrd is a big part of the success. In last week's 34-12 win against Camden (N.J), he rushed for 185 yards, and added 40 receiving yards and 60 yards on punt returns.

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