April 19, 2004

Byrd Gets Number 24

Before North Augusta WR/FS C.J. Byrd left for the prom this past Saturday afternoon, he was stopped by the mailman: It was a package with a scholarship offer from Notre Dame.

It was offer No. 24 for the player nicknamed "Big Byrd." He has been told that he is a strong candidate to be the nation's top prospect by several media outlets.

"My coaches told me a couple of months ago that Notre Dame had called about me and requested a transcript, but I had no idea an offer was on the way," Byrd said. "Notre Dame caught me by surprise, that is for sure.

Did Big Byrd have his prom plans distracted by offer?

"Yes, I was distracted by offer, but it was a good distraction," Byrd said with a laugh. "I mean, this was Notre Dame. Besides, I made it to everything on time Saturday."

Big Byrd's 24 offers are from Florida State, LSU, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Auburn, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Maryland, Wake Forest, Duke, Penn State, Michigan, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, Duke, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, South Carolina, Illinois, Notre Dame, Kentucky and Oklahoma.

"Notre Dame goes after only the cream of the crop," North Augusta coach Joe Long said. "We knew they were interested, but we had no idea when they were going to make a move. They requested a film a while back and we hadn't caught up with everything else to follow up yet to see what they had thought.

"We are excited that Notre Dame thinks so highly of C.J. to offer him this early. It's a great honor for any high school player. They traditionally only go after the USA's top players, so if Notre Dame wants you -- especially this early -- it further solidifies you as one of the nation's top prospects."

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