A rising sophomore at Naples High School, 2016 wide receiver/cornerback Tyler Byrd (Naples, FL) committed to the Florida Gators football team on Thursday.
Byrd attended a football camp in Gainesville, FL, last weekend where he received an offer to play for the Gators. According to the Naples News, which has been covering Byrd’s recruitment and first reported his commitment, Florida is his favorite team and defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin has been recruiting him since the spring.
“Florida definitely was my first choice,” Byrd told the paper. “All the coaches were high-spirited and fired up. They were really excited about what they were doing and that experience just made me want to go there even more.”
The Gators were the first Division I team to offer Byrd a scholarship.
Though Byrd (6-foot, 190-pounds) announced his commitment Thursday morning, he did not speak with Florida head coach Will Muschamp until the afternoon. According to InsidetheGators.com ($), Muschamp accepted Byrd’s pledge during their conversation.
As a freshman during the 2012 season, Byrd registered 451 yards and a team-high eight touchdowns as a receiver. He also served as an occasional running back and kick returner and even participated in track & field as a sprinter and jumper. Byrd will also play on defense for Naples High next year.
It is unknown if he plans to continue participating in track in college.
“He runs like the wind. He’s big. He’s strong. It was a no-brainer for [the Gators],” Bill Kramer, Byrd’s high school coach, said of the burgeoning prospect. “He is a special talent. We knew that before he walked through the door. He knows it, too. God gave him the ability and he wants to maximize it.”
Florida currently has 10 players committed as part of its 2014 recruiting class but has not received a pledge from any members of the Class of 2015. The Gators must keep Byrd’s commitment for just over 32 months as the earliest he can enroll is Jan. 2016.