Monday, August 25, 2008

Countdown to UGA-GSU: 5 Days

#5 C.J. Byrd, SS
6-2, 195, North Augusta SC (North Augusta HS), Sr.
It has seemed like a quick 3+ years for Byrd in Athens, after coming in as one of the top prospects in America, and picking the Dawgs over many of the top programs in America. It was a little unclear coming in which side of the ball he'd end up on, but it was evident pretty early that defense would be his best bet. The 2004 South Carolina Player of the Year saw action quickly in Sanford Stadium, playing in all 13 games on special teams, and winning the Special Teams Newcomer of the Year Award. He began seeing some significant time on defense as a sophomore, and scoring a touchdown on a Prince Miller blocked punt against UAB. As a junior he became the starter at safety and stayed that way all season, picking up 44 tackles and an interception.
Depth Chart Analysis: Byrd has played both free safety and strong safety during his career, but thanks to the development of now fellow starter Reshad Jones, he's settled in at strong safety full time and will be the starter in 2008. Byrd is probably one of the last guys you think about on this defense, given the superstars that line up elsewhere (Atkins, Owens, Ellerbe, Allen, etc.) He is as important a starter as UGA has on that side of the ball. He's extremely intelligent and has as much game experience as anyone on defense except perhaps Owens. He quietly goes about his business, mostly unnoticed, but you hardly ever see him getting lost out there, and he makes most every play he's asked. Coach Martinez loves him. Possibly the most underrated player on defense, perhaps on the entire roster.


Bop said...

If you think about it, we have cherry picked Carolina for some quality players lately...Seymour, Howard, Byrd, Jennings, Green and Miller just to name a few.

Worm said...

I know we are not done yet but I just wanted let you know how much I have enjoyed the countdown. The time it must take to put it together has to be a lot. Thanks.

Bop said...

2nd that sentiment.

BayouDawg said...

Couldn't agree more. Can't wait for Saturday morning at Hull St.