OL Byers is a Top Target

Offensive line prospect <b>Jeff Byers</b> from Colorado could be one of UCLA's top line targets. Being from Colorado there is a connection with UCLA's coaching staff, and the staff is exploiting it...

Jeff Byers, 6-4, 273, Loveland (Col.) High,  is being tabbed by some as the top player in Colorado, and while being recruited primarily as an offensive linemen, he's also getting some looks as a defensive linemen.


"I don't really have a preference for offense or defense," said Byers.  "I mean, football is football, I'll play wherever they want me to play." 


During a productive and busy junior year, Byers played both defensive end and defensive tackle, and his stats were pretty impressive.  He tallied 28 TFL with 5 ½ sacks on the year.  He also spent eight games at center and two more at offensive tackle.    "Most coaches tell me I look like an offensive linemen, a center, but they also said they could see me playing defensive line too," Byers said.


Being one of the best offensive linemen in the Big 12 region of the country has made him a top target of Big 12 schools, but he also has been hearing from several West Coast programs.  And this early in the recruiting game, he has a long list of teams where there is mutual interest. "Right now, if a school is interested in me, I'm interested in them and I will be until I see something I don't like about them," he said.


Schools that have stood out, though, are those that have offered. "I have offers from UCLA, Stanford, Oregon, Colorado, Colorado State, Nebraska, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Texas and Tennessee," Byers said. "CU is trying to tell me to stay in state, but I have no problem leaving state, and neither does my family."


Byers did talk about UCLA, rattling off several of the coaches that he has been in contact with. "I've heard from Coach Dorrell, Coach Weber, Coach Embree and Coach Bieniemy, the two Colorado guys," Byers said.  "They are showing me a lot of interest and I am hearing from them the most."


He has already unofficially visited Oklahoma and Texas with his family as well as Colorado, and will come out West this summer to see Stanford, UCLA and USC.


He will make his decision whenever he feels ready, in no hurry or in no long time needed. "When I know I want to go some place, that's when I will make my decision, but when I am ready to do it.  I could wait until February, but the chances are unlikely."


An all-around good athlete, Byers is the starting center for Loveland's basketball team and also throws the shot and discus for the track team.


But he really excels in the classroom, carrying a 3.95 GPA. "Academics will be a deciding factor in my decision and will be one thing I really look at closely," Byers said. He will take the SAT for the first time this spring.



Bruin Report Online Top Stories