Byrd finished the season with 37 receptions for 567 yards and two scores on offense. The amazing thing is that that was his first year playing wide receiver. On film, he shows very deceptive speed, solid hands, he can beat you deep and he's not afraid to go over the middle. Byrd is also a very good blocker down field.
Defensively last year Byrd recorded 92 tackles and two interceptions playing free safety. He plays the position like a centerfielder but he has a linebacker mentality. Byrd has superior closing speed and he hits like a truck. He can also defend the pass.
"Big Byrd just has tremendous athletic ability," said North Augusta Head Coach Joe Long. "He plays on both sides of the ball, never comes off the field and never complains. He's a big team guy. He can run and catch. C.J. can go get the deep ball and is certainly not afraid to run an inside pattern. He can also take a hit. Defensively he gets to the ball quickly and he delivers that big blow.
"I honestly see him as a wide receiver at the next level."
Thus far, Byrd has written scholarship offers from Georgia, Virginia Tech, Auburn, South Carolina, Clemson, Maryland, Illinois, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt. Plenty more are on the way and you can bet that Big Byrd will have a few dozen offers real soon, especially once the May Evaluation period starts and college coaches can hit the road.
"I would have to say that LSU is my No. 1 team," said Byrd. "They just won the national championship and there is a lot of hype about them right now. I really don't know much about them at this point but I will do my research on them and everyone else. I also like Georgia, Florida, Clemson, South Carolina, Tennessee, Michigan and others.
"I am looking at a lot of things like academics, playing time, coaching stability and stuff like that. As far as a position goes I will play where ever the team needs me. At this point though I think I am a better safety. In the end, I plan on doing what I think is best for me."
Byrd is so good at both positions that most college football programs right now are recruiting him on both sides of the ball. He is also a very good kick returner and terrific at kick coverage.
Byrd is considering to camp at Notre Dame, LSU, Tennessee, Georgia and Michigan this summer.
As always this is shaping up to be another outstanding year for wide receiver and safety prospects in the South and throughout the nation. You can bet that C.J. Byrd will be rated among the best.
Note – While I was on the phone with Byrd, Philip Fulmer from Tennessee and Kirby Smart from LSU both called the North Augusta football offices.
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