''(Strong) told us that C.J. was -- hands down -- the top college prospect in South Carolina ... and one of the best in the nation,'' North Augusta coach Joe Long told Miller Safrit of TheInsiders.com. ''We've dealt with (Strong) in the past and he has a sterling reputation for being a straight-up guy and telling you exactly what he thinks, whether you like it or not.
''Strong said he envisioned (Byrd) being a weapon for Chris Leak, a tall receiver who can stretch the field with his speed. He said they need C.J., and that Florida will recruit him harder than any other school.''
Byrd relishes the prospect of playing in the same offense with Leak.
''What wide receiver in the nation wouldn't want to catch passes from Chris Leak?'' Byrd said. ''Right now at this point, he is the best young quarterback in college football.''
After a brief pause, Byrd continued:
''Then again, that may not be a good thing because if someone signs with Florida; they may only get to play with Leak for one year because he will probably go pro after his junior year ... however, Florida is known for its quarterbacks and I'm sure they will recruit many more superstars.''
Legendary Penn State coach Joe Paterno reportedly will visit North Augusta in May to scout Byrd in person. Clearly, this young prospect is something special.
''No one is more surprised about all of this than me,'' Byrd said. ''I don't know what I did to deserve all of this. I mean, I just go out there and play the game as hard as I can on every play. Football is a team sport and I don't think I am better than any other player around ... I'm completely humbled by all of this attention.''
Byrd recently got offers from Penn State and Florida. He previously had offers from LSU, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Georgia, Virginia Tech, Clemson, Maryland, Virginia, Auburn, Illinois and South Carolina, among others.
He reportedly will make unofficial visits to UT and Georgia over the next two weekends.