Will four-star WR Damiere Byrd fly south?

Timber Creek Regional (Erial, N.J.) receiver Damiere Byrd is arguably the fastest player in the state, but there has been talk in recruiting circles he wouldn't stay home to play football. Byrd addressed such a notion, and also talked about his relationship with Rutgers' coaching staff. Byrd also gives insight into what is important when deciding on a school.

Four-star receiver Damiere Byrd of Timber Creek Regional (Erial, N.J.) is one of the fastest players in the state, and he possesses the type of speed Rutgers loves to exploit in the slot receiver position.

But how viable the Scarlet Knights are as a destination is a long-standing question.

The 5-foot-9, 165-pound Byrd holds nine offers, including ones from Rutgers, South Carolina, Louisville, Maryland and Iowa. But climate could be a determining factor for Byrd, and addressed whether he would head south to play in warmer weather.

"Right now that's a good possibility, but either way, everything's still open,'' Byrd said. "I can't deal with the cold. After these snowstorms, I can't deal with it. I was (shoveling). That's one of the reasons.''

Byrd is the nation's No. 21-rated receiver by Scout.com, and if his speed wasn't impressive enough before, even more schools may flock to him after he ran a laser-timed 4.26 (seconds) in the 40-yard dash at a combine Sunday. And he did that after electing not to run track in the winter so he could bulk up. He added nine pounds, but it hasn't slowed him down.

Meanwhile, Rutgers is showing Byrd a high level of interest.

"I try to talk to the coach once a week,'' Byrd said. "I talk to coach Robb Smith. I talk to coach Schiano. Our relationship is pretty close. They're our home team, and they were in it early. I'm considering them.''

Byrd had 38 receptions for 605 yards and two touchdowns as a junior. The multi-faceted Byrd also carried 78 times for 685 yards and eight scores, but he is being recruited as slot receiver.

"I'm looking for a program that will compete, a program that will be hard for you to fail (academically),'' Byrd said. "I try to call everybody, but South Carolina probably answers the most.''

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