Byers is a Trojan

Jeff Byers, the nation's No. 1 prospect, has finally made his decision. The center from Loveland High School in Colorado is headed to the PAC 10 to play for Southern Cal.

For Jeff Byers, it's an exciting time. The senior center from Ft. Collins (Col.) Loveland High School has been courted by just about every college football program from coast to coast. Byers, 6-foot-4 and 285 pounds, is's top rated-prospect and No. 1 offensive linemen. Just before the season, Byers narrowed his college choices to eight teams – Iowa, Notre Dame, Southern Cal, Ohio State, Texas, Nebraska, Colorado and UCLA. Over the next several weeks, he took official visits to Ohio State, Iowa, Texas, USC and Notre Dame. Now the nation's No. 1 prospect has made his decision – USC.

"USC has great people and it's the place where I felt the most comfortable around the players," Byers told "They all work so hard and they work together. They play the game of football with such a great intensity. Pete Carroll has shown that he's a great coach. I also like Tim Davis (Southern Cal Offensive Line Coach). He's my kind of guy.

"I just have a feeling about USC. The chemistry is there and that's so important to me. They also have great academics and that's important to me too."

Byers is yet another great get by Coach Carroll and his staff. Last season, they put together a phenomenal recruiting class with headliners from top to bottom. After Signing Day, quarterback John David Booty decided to forgo his senior year of high school to play at Southern Cal this season. Booty would have been one of the top prospects in America among the Class of 2004. Now it's Byers and this could be just the beginning of another bonanza of a recruiting class for the Trojans.

"Honestly, all the schools I was looking at were real close to putting it all together" Byers explained. "It wasn't just Southern Cal. All the teams made it very difficult. But one thing about USC is that they play freshmen. Over the last two years they have played 24 freshmen. All I want is a chance to compete and USC has shown that they are not afraid to play the best man."

Chances are Byers will be a center for USC. But he also can play guard and even offensive tackle. This season, he is strictly playing center and defensive tackle for Loveland. They are 8-1 and Byers has been just as dominant on defense, where he has recorded 141 tackles, 39 tackles for a loss and six sacks.

"We are doing so well, especially on defense," he said. "We are playing good football. Now that I have made the decision, it will help this team. It takes pressure off of me and it takes pressure off of us. Now we have no more distractions and we can focus on the playoffs and playing hard." Top Stories