Ryan Byrd is one of the hottest prospects in a talented 2011 class in Louisiana. His film clearly shows why with break-away speed, good size, ball-skills and the versatility to excel on the offensive or defensive side of the ball. Tucked away in an off-the-path location of Greensburg, La. though, not many people get a chance to see him first hand. That will all change very soon.
This weekend, Byrd will be taking part in the Baton Rouge NIKE Camp at the campus of LSU. The following weekend he will be on a Louisiana all-star 7on7 team that will compete in the BadgerSports Elite Passing Camp at Alabama. Byrd is looking forward to the opportunity.
"I've been working out and running and stuff, lifting weights," Byrd said. "I'm trying to have fun, get to know other players better and do what I'm supposed to do."
Currently, Byrd holds offers from Memphis, Minnesota, Ole Miss and Western Kentucky. More could be on the way as the spring evaluation gets underway. He is also hearing from Kansas State, Missouri, TCU, Tulsa, Southern Miss, Louisiana Tech and recently Notre Dame.
Despite his Louisiana roots, Byrd is interested in all offers and is open to getting out of Louisiana or Mississippi.
"I would like to go visit those schools and see what they have to offer," he said of the interest. "I wouldn't mind going to see what they have to offer. I wouldn't mind playing outside of Louisiana. I just want to play ball. That's all."
Up to now, Byrd has attended junior days at Ole Miss and LSU and he hopes to get out and see more schools this summer, depending on who offers him. When looking at schools, he's keeping two main factors in mind.
"The two most important things for me are academics and the weight program and stuff they have," he said. "I think if you're playing college football at any level you have to lift a lot of weights. I need to gain weight. I'm not very big. I need to stay in the weight room a lot."
Byrd listed Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi State, Alabama, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Michigan and Clemson as a some schools that he is hoping will come in with more interest. Of the schools he is already hearing from, Ole Miss has built the best relationship.
"I talk to Ole Miss Coach Kim Dameron and Coach Dickerson," he said. "They're real cool. They're about the only ones I'm close to at the moment."
Along with his camps, Byrd has been running track where he has clocked a sub-11 second 100. He also runs the 4x100, 4x200 and long jump. His speed and size make him a player that can cover a lot of ground in the defensive backfield and that's the part of the game he loves.
"I like catching passes," he said. "But on defense, I like catching interceptions. I don't mind hitting but I really like catching interceptions."
On Saturday at LSU, Byrd hopes to make an impact catching passes on both sides of the ball.