Senior tight end Dominique Byrd will be playing his last game wearing cardinal and gold on January 4th. He has enjoyed a great career since coming to USC, highlighted by his one-handed touchdown grab against Oklahoma in the national championship game last season. We talked with Byrd after...[details]
2005 (Senior): Mackey Award and All-American candidate Byrd, equally effective blocking and catching (especially on deep patterns), likely will assume the starting tight end job as a senior in 2005. He had arthroscopic surgery to remove torn cartilage in a toe prior to 2005 spring practice. He missed spring drills while concentrating on his academics and because of a broken jaw.
Personal: He's an African American studies major at USC. He interned for Minnesota senator Mark Dayton during a summer in high school.
Pros: Byrd combines good speed and agility that allows him to get into his routes easily and gain consistent separation. He shows good quickness when releasing off the line and uses his strength to help beat the jam easily. He shows good concentration when working to make the catch, and is able to pull in the pass in heavy traffic. As a blocker, he shows the ability to move a defender off the line, displaying leverage and a solid base to steer a defender at the point of attack. He is a prospect who could be far better as a pro than he was in college. Cons: Has some health issues, having dealt with a knee injury and a broken jaw. Often relegated to a role performer because of USC's talent on offense. He is not a polished route runner and needs to work on better moves. Numbers: As a senior, he caught 29 passes for 306 yards (10.6-yard average). As a junior, he had 37 receptions for 384 yards and three touchdowns in eight games after missing the first four games with a broken kneecap.