October 2, 2004

Byrd's top five remains unchanged

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The North Augusta (S.C.) football team will receive a huge boost this week when star player and Rivals.com four-star athlete C.J. Byrd returns to the starting lineup. Byrd, who has missed action the past couple of games because of a sprained ankle, said he is at 90 percent and will start on both sides of the football this Friday when his team faces off against Irmo.

Despite missing action and being restricted to playing only offense last week, Byrd has caught nine passes for 90 yards and two touchdowns - an 85-yard kickoff return and a 2-yard fumble recovery. On defense, he has 24 total tackles, one sack and one interception.

While Byrd has been working his way back to the field, he has also been fielding calls from recruiters at his South Carolina home.

"It is going well," he said. "It is not too bad. Some days (the calls) might be a lot, but then some days there might not be any. Some days it can get kind of out there but it is OK."

Byrd has had a top five since the end of the summer and the teams that made the cut were Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Clemson and Southern Cal. The list has not been altered since that time. Here's what he likes about his five favorites:

UF: "Chris Leak, he is a young quarterback, great quarterback."

FSU: "Great overall tradition. They have won national championships over the years and usually always have a great team."

UGA: "Great coach and god-fearing man. They are a great team."

Clemson: "One of my former teammates (Clemson tailback Reggie Merriweather) plays there. Great style of offense and it is in-state."

USC: "If I were to choose to go away, I would choose somewhere big. They were national champions last year and they are playing good this year."

UF defensive coordinator Charlie Strong calls Byrd on a biweekly basis, as the Gators continue to recruit Byrd as an athlete.

"We really have normal conversations," the Rivals.com No. 43-ranked player said. "He tells me about the Florida team and how they are doing. He asks me about my team. We really just have good conversations."

Byrd has not set up any official visits, but said that he would like to take his official visits during the football season and might work on setting up a few official visits in the near future.

He has taken unofficial visits to Clemson and Georgia thus far. He will be in Athens, Ga., once again this weekend when the Bulldogs welcome in SEC rival LSU. Byrd hopes to make a trip down to Gainesville to watch a UF home game.

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