Vols in Byrd Hunt

Demetrius Byrd didn't begin playing football until his senior year in high school, but the rising Junior College star wide receiver is making up for lost time with speed to spare.

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound athlete turns the 100 meters in a blistering 10.45 time and runs a sub 4.4 in the 40. He played one year at Miami Central High School where he led the city and Broward County in receiving with 41 catches for 1,100 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2004.

From there he went to Pearl River Community College and put together a solid first season with 40 catches for 703 yards and seven touchdowns in nine games. He's looking for bigger things this fall as a vital member of the Wildcats preseason No. 1 rated Junior College squad.

"He's legitimately fast," said Pearl Rivers assistant William Jones. "He's our vertical and speed guy. He's got great ball skills, he's improved his blocking and he's a guy that everybody wants. He's a guy that, you can be on the one-yard line, and you throw him a vertical pass or a takeoff route and nobody will catch him. He's blazingly fast. Basically a Santana Moss clone, but in a bigger body."

As Byrd continues to gain experience he is filing in gaps in his game which is already exciting.

"He only played one year of high school football at Miami Central. He led the city and county in receiving. He had something like 1100 yards on 41 catches for 15 touchdowns versus 6A competition and that's as good of football as there is anywhere in the country. He's not a track guy playing football. He's a football player that can run track."

That sounds just like what Tennessee is looking for with a pair of seniors and redshirt junior Robert Meachem all likely to move on to the NFL after this season. Naturally, other schools are looking for the same thing so it's not surprising that Byrd has been offered by every school in the SEC and ACC.

"My top schools are Tennessee, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Ole Miss is in the running too," he told Scout.com's Yancy Porter. "It is a toss up.

Demetrius Byrd is intrigued by Tennessee's history of putting wide receivers in the League. He should also like the opportunity to gain early playing time for the Vols.

"Definitely their depth chart," he said. "I am looking to come in and play. I am already a junior, so. I will look at the wide receivers on their squad. That is about it. Location will not be a problem."

Byrd plans to take visits to each of his top schools this fall, and will continue to upgrade his play as a sophomore at Pearl River, where he was named a preseason JUCO All-American.

"I have great hands, speed, and I can get open," he told Porter. I am also very coachable. I need to get a little bigger. That is the main thing. I am making better reads with the defenses. I have gotten a lot stronger since last year too."

This blazing big-play wideout is definitely worth keeping up with — if that's possible.

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