Perhaps no other college prospect in the nation has seen his stock soar in
recent weeks as C.J. Byrd of North Augusta, S.C.
Byrd was offered a football scholarship by the University of Oklahoma on
"Oklahoma called to see if C.J. was sincerely interested in the Sooners,"
North Augusta assistant Drew Hummel said. "And again, like we said with LSU
last week, C.J. will have a lot of tough decisions to make during the
recruiting process, but asking whether or not he interested in playing for
national championship programs such as Oklahoma is not one of them.
"Of course, Byrd was interested. He was thrilled. He was just about
speechless after he called back and talked with the Oklahoma coaches. This
is big time. I'm sure that Oklahoma has recruited South Carolina players in
the past, but I can't remember any in recent years."
It was the 13th scholarship offer so far for the player who is
affectionately called "Big Byrd" because of his good-natured-attitude and
tall but muscular build. Last week brought in offers from Tennessee, LSU and
Virginia for the 6-foot-3, 184-pounder who is being recruited at both WR and
"Oklahoma assistant Darrell Wyatt said that he had seen tapes of most of
the top junior wide receivers across the nation and C.J. was the cream of
the crop," Hummel said. "They are coming for our spring practice (in late
May), but they said they wanted to go ahead and offer a scholarship today
... and they did.
"Oklahoma has five senior receivers for this year and they need someone
who can step right in and play. They feel like Big Byrd is the type of
player to do that at a national-championship caliber program."
Byrd's other offers include Georgia, Virginia Tech, South Carolina,
Clemson, Maryland, Vanderbilt, Auburn, and Illinois. More than 40 other
colleges are sending mail on a routine basis and have requested film of
"If I go far away from home, I want the chance to play for national
championships every year," Byrd said. "It seems like Oklahoma is fighting it
out for the title every season. I'm excited. The Lord has opened some
amazing doors for me. I don't know what I have done to deserve all of this,
but I am thankful and appreciative."
"I really have to give all the credit to my teammates and coaches. My
coaches have really stressed hard work in both football and with academics.
My teammates played great, carried out their assignments during games last
year and put me in a position to make some plays. All of this recruiting
certainly isn't all about me ... a lot of other people were involved to make
this happen. Football is a team sport, we're all in this together at North
Augusta and I am above no one else."
Big Byrd has made unofficial visits this spring to Clemson, Auburn and
South Carolina with trips planned over the next two weeks to Tennessee and
"Oklahoma and LSU are two premiere programs," said Hummel,"and when they
say you are hands down one of the best prospects in the nation and offer you
scholarship without ever seeing you in person ... it's mind-boggling,"
Byrd is one of two South Carolina players being considered for next year's
U.S. Army All-America Bowl game, which features the nation's top 78 players.