Lightning fast receiver updates recruitment
Damiere Byrd, who has been timed at a blazing 4.24 seconds in the forty yard dash, is one of the premier wide receiver prospects nationally this recruiting cycle, and his offer lists reflects that. The 5-9, 160 pound speedster currently holds 18 offers, including recent tenders from Florida, Purdue, and NC State.
One school that has been involved with Byrd since the very beginning of his recruitment is South Carolina, thanks in large part to the recruiting efforts of Coach G.A. Mangus. Byrd received a visit at his school on Wednesday from Mangus, and when asked about his relationship with USC's quarterbacks coach, he spoke very highly of the bond that the two have built through the recruiting process.
"We have a really good relationship," Byrd said of his USC recruiter. "I've been down there and liked it a lot, and he's already met my parents. Our relationship is very strong. We e-mail back and forth and stuff. He‘s a real good guy."
Byrd will be making a return trip to South Carolina next month for a 7-on-7 passing camp, and he said that is a visit he's very much looking forward to.
"At the beginning of June I'll be going back down to South Carolina. I'm looking forward to that trip."
South Carolina has consistently been at or near the top of Byrd's list of favorites early in his recruitment, but a new contender has entered the race in the form of perennial powerhouse Florida. The Gators, however, like Byrd more on the defensive side of the ball than at receiver. Byrd explained exactly what the UF coaches have told him about how they would like to utilize his talents.
"They said they're offering me at corner because of numbers, but even though they're offering me at corner they said I'd have an opportunity to play receiver and return kicks too," he said.
Naturally, having a championship caliber program like Florida offer him has made a big impression on Byrd.
"Florida competes for national championships. They've won two of the last four, I believe. They're just a dominant program altogether. I was definitely happy about that offer."
While Byrd did not claim any favorites in the interview, he stated that four schools are currently pursuing him the hardest.
"South Carolina, Florida, Rutgers, and West Virginia (are recruiting me the hardest)."
When asked for his impressions of Rutgers and West Virginia, Byrd spoke highly of the two Big East programs.
"Rutgers is my home school, I've been there plenty of times already. I'm comfortable with the campus and with the coaches," he said. "West Virginia is a really good school also. I'm getting to know both the quarterbacks coach and the receivers coach. I'm definitely building a good relationship there."
Byrd does not currently have a timetable for making a decision, but he did mention the key factors he'll be looking for when deciding on his college destination.
"Being able to fit in with everybody, with my coaches and teammates. I just want to fit in and be a part of the team. I want to be able to see myself living there for the next four to five years, plus someplace I could be many years after I graduate if I don‘t move on to the NFL."
Last season, Byrd hauled in 38 passes for 605 yards and four touchdowns, while also carrying the ball 78 times for 685 yards and eight scores. He added two punt returns for touchdowns as well.
He projects as a full qualifier, reporting an impressive 3.3 core GPA and a 1310 on the SAT.
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