Meet newest Oregon Duck, Rod Byers.
Byers, who is coming from Northwestern High School in Rock Hill, S.C., had many offers. He was torn between whether he should stick around the area, for family purposes, and play from the S.C. Gamecocks or the Clemson Tigers. He also was wrangling with the opportunity to play clear across the country for the Ducks.
On Wednesday, the lineman announced his choice in the media center of Northwestern. Before he pulled out the baseball cap of the chosen school, he complimented both his coaches and family, “This isn’t just about me, he said. “It’s about my teammates and how they have supported me. These guys are my family, my brothers. We have a tight circle and have stuck together.”
Byers said that he likes the eclectic uniforms that the Ducks wear during the season, but that was not the reason that he chose the team. Although, he said that he admired the uniforms all the same.
Byers was being coddled in all directions and there was great support for him to go to South Carolina and Clemson. But in end, the Ducks seemed to be the right fit for him even though he will be so far from home. He stated that, “it’s going to be tough being away from my family. I’m a high school senior making a man’s decision. It was hard because all three schools are good.”
Last weekend Byers visited OU and for him it just felt right. During the announcement he said ““It felt like home; great coaches, great school and great facilities. The coaches told my I will compete right away, could even start. That’s my goal.”
There was good reason for coach Chip Kelley to make his case for Byers to become part for the Ducks football team. The 6’5 270 defensive lineman helped lead his high school, Northwestern to the state championship last season. He finished his senior year with 98 tackles and 7 sacks.
Even though, the three year letterman made a verbal commitment does not mean it is binding. He will have to sign on Feb. 2, which is considered National Signing Day across the country, a binding letter of intent between high school seniors and colleges to play football.
Let’s hope he doesn’t change his mind.