Jeff Byers interview text

On signing day Jeff Byers was interviewed on the Trojan Confidential radio show. Here is a transcript of what the future Trojan had to say about his future team, Coach Carroll and his role in helping to lure other recruits to Troy.

Jerry Gardner "We'd like to welcome Jeff Byers to the show. Jeff is the Gatorade National Player of the Year and he's joining us from Loveland, Colorado. What got you to leave Colorado to come to Los Angeles Jeff?"

Jeff Byers "The Trojans. Coach Carroll is a great guy and I just fell in love with the program and fell in love with the school and I guess that's what brings me out of Colorado."

Garry Paskwietz "Talk about the team chemistry and how important that was to you when you had a chance to come out here and see how everyone got along. How important was that to you in your decision?"

JB "Oh, that was key. I had a chance to go see a lot of schools around the nation and I felt that USC had the best team chemistry. They go out there every day and they work hard. They want to win. They play to win. They respond well to the coaches and the coaches are high tempo, they demand a lot and they get a lot. I really think that was one of the key points. When it's football time it's football time at USC and that's special."

John Jackson "First of all, I have to give you some love as an offensive lineman to win the player of the year award. I was a receiver and it sort of hurts my heart to see one of the big hogs get it but I'm glad to see that you got it. What I wanted to ask you about was the great line tradition at USC, how much did that play a factor and how much did it help to see the things Jacob Rogers did this year to become an All-American?"

JB "That just shows that there's opportunity I guess and I just have to do something with that opportunity. Jacob Rogers is a guy who kind of broke the drought they had of great offensive linemen, they had a couple off years but Jacob really came and broke that. He's one of those guys that any offensive lineman would like to model themselves after."

GP "Talk about the mindset you have when you're on the field as an offensive lineman. One of the things that impresses people when they watch your tape is the relentless effort to block one guy, two guys and even three guys on a single play."

JB "I just go out there to have fun. You gotta take every chance you've got to hit somebody because you never know when your last play is gonna come. You just go out there to play hard, you know, you play for a reason. Play for your teammates, play for yourself."

JJ "Give us your take on the intensity of Pete Carroll and Tim Davis."

JB "Well, Coach Davis is the crazy man. He's up-tempo, he's upbeat, he demands a ton. He yells and gets his guys going. He's one of those guys who is really interactive with his guys and treats them like sons and that's really important to me. Coach Carroll is a competitor. He's always out there and he wants to win. He wants to win in practice, he wants to hit hard. That's my kind of thing. If you're gonna go practice you might as well practice hard and you might as well beat on each other, it makes each other better. Coach Carroll is one of those head coaches who isn't going to sit back and watch, he's gonna get involved and that's what makes him so special."

GP "Talk about what your plans are now that the letter is signed. When will you move to Los Angeles for workouts and what are the coaches telling you about your role for next fall?"

JB "I plan to move out there June 1st to start summer workouts with the team. I'll probably just get a place with some of the other guys who are incoming. As far as my role, they are giving me a chance to compete. That's all I want is a chance to come in and compete and play ball. If it comes around that I'm gonna play then I'm gonna play but if I'm not good enough then I'm not good enough. I can't expect any less. I just need to go in there and work hard and do what I do best which is play football."

GP "You've already started helping the Trojan Family because you were one of the guys helping with other recruits."

JB "Oh that was a blast. I really wanted to be part of the number one class and I got to be really good friends with Keith Rivers from Florida and me and him just kind of tag teamed everybody I guess you could say. I would call the player and then I'd call Keith and tell him what we talked about and then Keith would call or else it was the other way around. It was just something really fun to do with the whole recruiting process to get to know these other guys, to know where they're coming from, their experiences and to just kind of compare notes with what they had to say about other schools. It was a lot of fun."

JJ "You committed early on to USC, what other schools were you looking at?"

JB "I looked really hard at Iowa, I looked at Texas, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Colorado. Those were really my top 5 outside of USC."

JG "What tipped it over to you for the Trojans?"

JB "The team chemistry. It was all about that. There is just a love for the game and that's what I want."


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