April 26, 2004

Palmetto State WR Has 26 On Table

North Augusta's C.J. Byrd, who got offer No. 26 on Monday from the University of Hawaii, said his primary focus between now and the end of May is his team and finding a new quarterback.

"Big Byrd" is one of the top WR prospects in the nation, yet doesn't know who his quarterback will be next year. Last season's starter, Brandon Satcher, signed with Hawaii. North Augusta's spring practice will be May 10-24.

"We are all excited about the spring to see who will step up," Byrd said. "We don't have anyone with experience, but we have a couple of young guys with a lot of raw talent and ability. And there are some upperclassmen who are talking about coming out for the team so they can be a part of our new West Coast offense. But that's just talk right now."

North Augusta coach Joe Long was informed by Hawaii that an offer was on the way. Byrd has tried to call Hawaii to express his appreciation and interest, but has not had any luck so far with the six-hour time difference.

"Brandon Satcher was flat-out the best high school quarterback I've ever seen in person or on film," Byrd said. "A lot of times, it would look like a busted play and he would turn it into a touchdown, He did things in a real game that you only see on a video game.

"I would love to play with him again in college, I wish it was a school somewhere closer that he signed with ... but heck, if you are going to go far away, I guess a tropical paradise would be one of the best places to consider. I'm definitely interested in checking out the situation."

"Big Byrd" has kept a low profile in recent weeks, working out and training for North Augusta's spring workouts. Byrd has not visited any colleges over the last two weeks and does not plan to do so again until at least the end of May. He also said he will wait to attend any college camps or combines until the summer.

"The team has always come first with C.J.," Long said. "He has not forgotten about all the recruiting, but just pushed it to the back of his mind until we finish spring practice. Our workouts are more important than usual this year because we are auditioning quarterbacks. "We've got one of the top WRs in the country; now we have to figure out a way to get the ball to him."

"Big Byrd" said he and his family will come up with a game plan for recruiting after spring practice. Said Byrd: "My father and I have always wanted to try and visit, within reason, each college that has offered a scholarship. Obviously, with places like Southern Cal and Oklahoma, I will have to wait until the summer to plan a trip because of the distance.

"We're going to hit the road again in late May or June. Then ideally by the end of the summer, I will narrow down to list of 5 or 10 schools. By the middle of the season or late in it, we will cut it down to five or less schools and then go on a few official visits.

"Because all of the recruiting started so soon with me, I have been able to do a lot of things as a junior that other guys on our team had to wait until their senior year to do. I have been able to meet a lot of coaches, see a lot of campuses and compile a list of pluses and minuses with each school.

"So that's the plan right now. I'll know more after spring practice."

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