July 26, 2010

New Jersey speedster adds third SEC offer

Damiere Byrd has never been to Oxford, Miss.

But whenever Ole Miss was on television the past couple of seasons, the speedy four-star wide receiver from Sicklerville (Timber Creek), N.J., was glued to his set.

Byrd, a 5-foot-9, 165-pounder, didn't express his interest in Ole Miss. His high school coach, Robert Hinson, did, however. On Monday, days after the Rebels received film of Byrd's gridiron exploits, that interest became quite mutual.

Ole Miss offered Byrd a scholarship on Monday, joining South Carolina and Florida as Southeastern Conference programs to venture into the Northeast searching for elite talent.

"I was excited about it," Byrd said Monday night. "I've been interested in them in awhile. We just hadn't had any communication.

"It went kind of quick. Actually, I didn't know my coach had sent out the film. All of a sudden, he told he was talking to them. Then in a couple of days, I had an offer."

Byrd said he spoke to Ole Miss co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Dave Rader and wide receivers coach Ron Dickerson Jr., after learning of the offer from the Rebels.

"(Dickerson) said he was excited about me and he wants me to give them a fair shot and get the ball rolling as quickly as possible," Byrd said.

Byrd, who now has 26 offers, said the distance from New Jersey to Mississippi won't hurt the Rebels' chances.

"It won't be difficult," Byrd said. "I go away a lot. I just got back from Florida today. …(Camp in Gainesville) was good. (Florida) actually wants me for corner."

That could hurt the Gators' chances, as Byrd is set on playing receiver in college. Ole Miss is recruiting Byrd as an offensive player.

"They said I'm a Dexter McCluster-type," Byrd said. "They said I'm a guy they could motion out of the backfield. I'm a speed and finesse guy. I can get mismatches with the linebackers and make plays and safeties over the top."

Byrd said Florida, South Carolina, Ole Miss, Rutgers, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Iowa are on top of his list at this point. Byrd, ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 5 prospect in New Jersey, the No. 21 wide receiver and the No. 239 overall prospect nationally, said he's in no hurry to make a decision.

"As soon as I'm able to visit those schools I haven't been to already, I'll be able to make a decision," Byrd said. "I will definitely try to get down to Ole Miss."

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