The University of Virginia offered a scholarship to North Augusta two-way star C.J. Byrd. It is the 11th scholarship offer for the player who is affectionately called "Big Byrd" because of his good-natured attitude and tall but muscular attitude.
"C.J. was just as happy about the Virginia offer as any that he has gotten so far," North Augusta assistant Steve Mixon said. "His parents want a school that is strong both academically and athletically, and Virginia fits that bill."
Virginia assistant Mike Groh, younger brother of head coach Al Groh, is the coach recruiting Byrd and the rest of South Carolina. Groh played quarterback at Spring Valley in the late 1980's.
"It has been another eventful day," Byrd said. "People have been congratulating me all day about the offer from LSU. That's all they have wanted to talk about ...then I heard about the offer from Virginia. I know my mom will be proud about about Virginia, because academics are all she talks about."
The 6-foot-3, 184-pounder has a 3.1 grade point average and 860 SAT score, with the goal of scoring more than 1,000. He is being recruited at colleges at both wide receiver and free safety.
Big Byrd has offers from Virginia, LSU, Maryland, Virginia Tech, Georgia, Clemson, Illinois, Ole Miss, Auburn, South Carolina and Vanderbilt. He is scheduled to make unofficial visits to South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia, with other trips in the works.
"It's going to be like a circus in here for spring practice," Mixon said. "They all want to see Big Byrd in person. He is so much stronger and faster than last year. He has added about 15 pounds of muscle and looks very, very good."
North Augusta will have spring practice in late May at dates yet to be determined.