April 3, 2010

Louisiana athlete has 'top choice' on his mind

Ryan Byrd isn't ready to announce a decision or stop looking around at his potential choices just yet.

However, the 6-foot-1, 180-pound athlete from Greensburg (St. Helena), La., has a clear leader for his services. In fact, Byrd said Friday he's "sure about where I want to go."

That statement came less than a week after Byrd took a trip to Ole Miss for the Rebels' third junior day of the 2011 recruiting campaign. Ole Miss, already a slight favorite of Byrd's prior to the trip to Oxford, now has a commanding lead for his signature.

"Most likely, Ole Miss is my top choice right now," Byrd said. "I'm sure about what I want to do. I have to talk it over with my mom, but mostly likely, I'm going to go to Ole Miss."

Byrd spent last Saturday watching the Rebels open spring drills and getting more acquainted with some of the Ole Miss coaching staff.

"It was good," Byrd said. "I toured around and really enjoyed it. (Practice) was interesting. They were doing a lot of one-on-one. The cornerbacks were jamming at the line. I liked that.

"I like the facilities (at Ole Miss). I like the weight room. The coaches are friendly and I like talking to them. I feel comfortable around them."

Byrd was a first-team All-District 8-2A performer at both wide receiver (22 catches, 657 yards, 7 TDs) and at free safety (63 tackles, 5 interceptions, 19 pass break-ups). He also averaged 29.6 yards on 10 kickoff returns. Most schools, including Ole Miss, seem to be targeting Byrd as a safety.

"It doesn't matter," Byrd said. "I'll play wherever they put me."

Byrd has offers from Ole Miss, Minnesota, Memphis and Western Kentucky. LSU has not offered, but the home-state Tigers "are in the mix. They've sent letters and stuff."

Byrd said he plans to camp this summer at Ole Miss and LSU and he might be attending at camp at Alabama as well.

"Ole Miss said they wanted me at camp," Byrd said.

Byrd has been busy this spring with track. He's competing in the long jump, the 100-meter dash, the four-by-100-meter relay and the four-by-200-meter relay.

He said he's planning to make a decision before National Signing Day in February but he didn't yet have a planned timetable.

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