Demetrius Byrd was a projected middle-round pick before his accident left him in the intensive care unit. He has an elite combination of speed and athleticism, which gives him a shot to be even better in the NFL than he was in college.
Between 2007 and 2008, Byrd compiled 72 catches, 1,134 yards and 11 TDs. However, productivity at LSU does not guarantee NFL success, as evidenced by the struggles of 2007 first-round pick Buster Davis.
Can Byrd bounce back from his injuries and raise the stakes? To find the answer, SDBoltReport.com's Michael Kranzler caught up with LSU wide receivers coach D.J. McCarthy for an exclusive interview.
WR Demetrius Byrd
Michael Kranzler: Tell me about Demetrius' work ethic on and off the field.
D.J. McCarthy: Demetrius is a hard worker and has learned to work both on and off the field. He's a very coachable guy and he knows that he needs to work hard to be successful. He knows that everyone is just as big, just as strong as he is, so he needs to step up his game.
MK: What is the best part of his game?
MK: Where do you think Byrd needs to make the most improvement?
DM: The biggest thing is stepping up to the competition that he's facing each game and focusing on the task at hand.
MK: How is his recovery from his car accident going?
DM: It's going well. He's been out of the hospital for quite some time and he's doing rehab, and I think he's actually out in San Diego right now working with the team.
MK: What did it mean to him to be given a shot by the Chargers despite the fact that he was in the hospital at the time?
DM: That was a really emotional time. Sitting in a hotel room with the guy, I'm calling teams, his agent is calling teams, I'm calling coaches, trying to get them to take a shot on the kid, because he's going to recover. When he got the call, the whole room just exploded with his family and friends. He gave us two thumbs up, and he whispered, "I'm gonna show 'em." It was a really emotional time and it means a lot for the Chargers to take a chance on him, knowing that if it goes well, he could be the biggest steal of the draft.