C.J. Byrd Profile
While many of the nation's top prospects are spending the summer making the rounds to colleges on unofficial visits or for camps, North Augusta's (S.C.) C.J. Byrd (6-3, 184, 4.55) is enrolled in summer school. "Big Byrd", the consensus No. 1 prospect out of South Carolina, will begin taking a class next week despite the fact he has already met college entrance requirements with a 3.1 GPA and 890 SAT score.
"I don't have to go to summer school, but I want to go to summer school ... my goal is to raise my GPA to a 3.5 before I graduate," said Byrd, who said he will major in Finance or Pre-Medicine in college.
Byrd, who is one of the nation's most heavily recruited players with three dozen offers, said summer school has numerous benefits: "Like most people, I am at my best when I am staying busy, productive and on a routine schedule. I will be going to class all day in summer school, working out and running, and then studying."
Over the past month, "Big Byrd" has been named to just about every pre-season All-America team for high school players, an honor for which his coach said he is very deserving.
"We have been blessed to turn out a ton of major-college players over the last two decades, but we've never had a player recruited as heavily as CJ – and it's not even close," Long said.
"Every single college which has evaluated CJ's tape and background has offered him a scholarship, and I've never seen or heard that about any other player anywhere. Usually at least one school will decide not to offer an high school All-American for one reason or another, whether it be over worries for meeting college entrance requirements, a characteristic on film maybe one coach on the staff didn't like, a character issue, or even maybe an overwhelming amount of depth at the player's position already on the college team ... just something.
"Yet with CJ, everyone has a place for him. All of the colleges, ranging from Southern California to the University Florida, think CJ is one of the nation's top three or four prospects and say he offers just as much away from the football field as he does on it. It's amazing, and just a credit to the tremendous character and hard work of this young man."
"Big Byrd" has made unofficial visits to nearly 10 schools since the spring and plans to make several more in July. He has tentatively lined up weekend trips to Florida State, Georgia Tech and Alabama, among others. Byrd, who has managed to avoid naming any favorites up to this point, said his game plan is to narrow down to five or seven colleges before the start of his senior season.
"The reason I haven't named any favorites because my mind changes just about every day," Byrd said. "I didn't want to come out and say one thing, then change it the next day, and then say something else the day after. That would just confuse everybody.
"My family and position coach (North Augusta assistant and former Gamecock Steve Mixon) have been discussing everything over the last couple of months. When I narrow down to several schools later this summer, it will something carefully thought out and examined, and something I will stick by. Then I will spend the fall making as many unofficial visits as possible to those several schools."
C.J. Byrd - An Indepth Interview
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