November 6, 2011

GRCC's Byrd drawing interest from CMU

One of the key players for the undefeated Grand Rapids Community College Raiders this season is 6-foot-6, 315-pound left tackle DeShawn Byrd. Byrd has only allowed an astounding one sack all season, which did not happen until the conference championship game against Iowa Western last weekend.

Byrd, a Grand Rapids native, only has one offer right now, which is from Northern Colorado. However, Alabama State is very close to offering as well. He also has interest from a few schools in the Midwest, including Indiana, Cincinnati and Central Michigan. Indiana came to GRCC and requested film for Byrd last week.

The GRCC left tackle has three years of eligibility left when he signs with a program. He would like to sign in December if he could, so he can get a jump start on a strength program and learn the offensive system in spring ball.

"I would like to enroll in January if I can. I can take some online classes, but right now I don't have anywhere to go, so it looks like I might have to wait and be there in May."

The recruiting process is often very different for players coming out of junior college than it is for players coming out of high school.

"It seems like it's slower. In high school, it was like I talked to a school every week until I found out I had to go to a junior college."

Byrd said that he struggled academically during his freshmen and sophomore years of high school, but in his final two years, he worked hard and got them higher. He is looking for a school that wins and has great fans and good coaching.

"I think a big one for me is fans. I like playing in front of a big crowd. The coach has to be good and I want to play for a school that is used to winning."

Byrd has not made an official visits to any school yet. He is holding off a visit to Alabama State that would have been on Thanksgiving because he wants to see if any other schools show interest.

As the season ends for GRCC and they wait for a bowl bid, their record stands at 11-0. Going into their game last weekend, they were ranked No. 5 in the country, but that should change because the No. 1 school, Blinn College, lost to Tyler Junior College in their last game.

Byrd and his team, including quarterback Cody Kater, who recently received an offer from CMU, have some pretty high goals for themselves as the season comes to an end.

"Our goal as a team is to win the national championship, if we get a shot at the game. If we do not get the opportunity, we want to win our bowl game. As an individual, I do not want to allow another sack the rest of the year."

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