Byrd Keeping His Options Open

Fresno (Calif.) Central safety Hatari Byrd is one of nation's best at his position and is taking his time in narrowing down his decision...

Fresno (Calif.) Central safety Hatari Byrd is one of the nation's best at his position, and has already heard from programs around the country, picking up offers that include California, UCLA, Washington, Houston, Notre Dame, Georgia, and Arizona State.

"I just received an offer from Ole Miss and I've been talking with the Georgia coaches, as well as Notre Dame and most of the schools in the Pac-12," he said.

However, the 6'2", 200 lb. prospect is in no rush to make his decision, though he is taking a trip to the Bruins campus on Thursday.

"I'm leaving it open right now. Education always comes first and I'm looking for a school that fits me when I take a visit there," he said.

Aside from racking up college offers, Byrd was recently invited to play in the 2013 Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl along with his teammate, L.J. Moore.

"I'm really happy to get the invitation," he said.

Byrd has kept himself busy in the off-season, training every day and playing with his 7on7 team, DB Guru.

"I work out with my dad every night and work out with my team in the weight room during the week, so I get extra workouts in every day. I'm just training and getting to camps. I want to go out there and have a good time and compete," he said.

The safety, who already looks the part of a college player, is a physical player who really uses his size as an advantage on the field.

"My biggest strengths are my covering skills and my strength. I can move fast for my size. I can come down and cover the receiver, I can cover the 2, I can do anything. I can play corner, I can do it all. I've been playing football since fourth grade and I always played with older people, so I guess that's why I'm not afraid of anything. I love hitting people; I get really excited to make those plays," he said.

Byrd's coach, Tony Perry, is one of the West's top defensive back coaches and is impressed with the progress that Byrd has made throughout high school.

"It's unbelievable how far Hatari has come. He's a kid who works hard in the off-season and puts a lot of work in. Guarding little receivers for how big as he is is very hard; he's learned to cover, which a lot of safeties can't do," said Perry.

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