The rising senior stood out among some of the best high school players in the nation during seven-on-seven and one-on-one passing drills, which got him an invite to the Top Gun Camp in Dublin, Ohio, July 18–20, an invitation-only camp for the top prospects from the FBU camps during the year. Out of the 200 players that attended the camp only 20 percent of the camp got invited to the Top Gun camp in Ohio.
“It is an honor to get invited there,” Byrd said. “Out of the competition that was there it was crazy. I didn’t think I was going to make it, but I guess the coaches saw something in me that I guess I didn’t see. It feels good.”
Last summer, Byrd attended the camp, so he came in knowing what to expect.
“I went to one last year and that was my first time going to it,” Byrd said. “They invited me to go to Virginia to go to the Top Gun camp, which is in Ohio this year. I knew a couple of the coaches that were there and they were putting it on in Atlanta. It was just like catching up on things where you left off last time. I was used to the things that they had us doing and I remembered some of the things that they wanted me to work on last time. It was just like riding a bicycle, you never forget.”
The camp had several former NFL players giving the players instructions that will help them with their technique, which could help them get a chance to play at the next level.
“The first day that you are there you work on your technique and getting your steps down,” he said. “The next couple of days it is the one-on-one and the seven-on-seven. It was good and it was a lot of good competition.”
The camp really seemed to benefit Byrd last season.
In his first season as a full time starter, Byrd had success throwing the football. For the season, he completed 80-144 passes for 1,192 yards, 13 touchdowns and only two interceptions. He also had 211 rushing yards and four touchdowns. The 6-foot-2 inch, 170-pound quarterback had a coming out party in a 62-42 win over Hokes Bluff. Byrd went 11-12 passing for 260 yards and six touchdowns.
The Golden Bears went 6-6 last season and fell to Madison County in the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 4A playoffs.
“It helped a lot,” Byrd said. “It helped with just knowing different things and being experienced as a quarterback really helped out a lot.
Byrd is attending the Troy University camp on Wednesday and Thursday.
“I am just trying to get better and learn more,” he said.