Because he missed 2 seasons with injuries, he petitioned the NCAA for a "clock extension waiver" and his request was granted.
After appearing in all 13 games of his 2004 true freshman season (starting 4 times), Byers was sidelined with injuries the next 2 years. He had arthroscopic surgery to remove torn cartilage in his right hip in 2005, forcing him to miss that season. Then in 2006, after seeing action in the opener, he suffered a back sprain and was out the rest of that season.
He started at left guard in 2007 and 2008. This season, he made the All-Pac-10 second team and Phil Steele's All-American third team and won USC's Chris Carlisle Courage Award.
Byers also stars in the classroom, where he has a 3.27 GPA. He received his bachelor's degree in business administration in the summer of 2007 and is in his second year of working on his master's degree in business. He was among 10 finalists for the 2008 Lowe's Senior Class Award (given to the top college football senior student-athlete) and was a quarterfinalist for the Draddy Trophy (nation's top senior football scholar-athlete). He also made the 2008 Pac-10 All-Academic honorable mention squad.
Byers was the 2003 Gatorade and EA Sports National Player of the Year coming out of Loveland (Colo.) High.
- USC Release
Jeff Byers and Pete Carroll celebrate a USC victory. (Getty Images)