Recruit Focus: Jadarius Byrd

All information in this post is courtesy of  BeaverBlitz and Hudl.  Again, I highly recommend both of these sites for the best and latest information on Beaver Football recruiting.

All reviews are just MY OPINION, and need to be taken as such. The coaches know more than me, understand the team’s needs better than I do and most likely differ with my opinions. I am just doing this for fun.

Jadarius Byrd

CURRENT RIVALS RANKING: 2 Star (5.2)
PROJECTED FINAL RIVALS RANKING:
3 Star (5.5)
HT: 5′ 10″
WT: 170
POS: Cornerback
HOMETOWN: Jacksonville, Florida
OTHER OFFERS: Charlotte, Marshall, Maryland
CHANCE OF BEING A BEAVER: 80%

Hudl Profile – Private

Position The Official Candy Report Sees this player at: Cornerback
What Beaver this player reminds us of: Dennis Weathersby

STRENGTHS
– Jumping Ability is amazing
– Aggressive at the line of scrimmage
– Great instincts
– Very quick feet and hips
– Smooth coming out of breaks
– Great body control in the air and amazing hands
– Aggressive tackler and on special teams
– Plays with swagger
– Silly, Nintendo number of interceptions

QUESTIONS
– Smaller frame
– Can’t really tell what his speed is like on the film
– Not a lot of film on his hand work fighting for balls
– Not a lot of film of him breaking through blocks

SUMMARY:
It is always surprising around these parts when OSU gets a February commit.  While he has extensive ties with OSU (his cousin and best friend were part of their last class) Florida is still 3000 miles away and there is a lot of time between now and then.

With the Beavers new defensive philosophy, there is a premium on defensive backs.  Getting one that can create mismatches with his jumping ability and that has a knack for interceptions (double digit picks last year) is never a bad thing either.  Jadarius is not a huge player, but he plays big and he plays sound.  In his Hudl highlight film, you can see Byrd keeping position, running step for step with the receivers and managing to get his body in the way, often coming up with a big break up or interception. While it is hard to gauge a player solely on his highlight reel, you do see enough examples of a player that probably knows what the route is going to be before the ball is snapped and does a good job of preventing it.

The second play on the film is a good example.  Byrd gets a good hit at the line of scrimmage and forces the route outside.  Being close to the goal line (around the 22 yard line) he knows that this is a one on one play and most likely a fade.  After his punch, his feet are fast enough to burst into position on the inside hip of the receiver and he stays with him step for step, ultimately picking the ball off and preventing any points from being scored. This play was a great example of the three elements of a solid player: Mental, Physical and Technique.  He most likely knew the route and the play, he knew where he needed to be, was physically capable of staying with the receiver and used great technique in his punch, his recovery, his position and finishing the play.

These are the kinds of players any team wants.  While there are still a lot of great players out there, many that are bigger and faster than Jadarius, seeing someone that has a pretty dang complete game, looks well coached, has some physical advantages (jumping, quickness) and plays tough (looks for people to blow up on special teams, solid and smart tackling technique on the edges) is someone you cannot pass up.  He has great closing speed when the ball is in the air, has a good burst when needed to make a play and doesn’t appear to get burned a lot, so he is coming back to the ball a lot (giving him some of those pic opportunities.

There is not a lot of film of him fighting for balls or fighting off blocks, so of course those are questions.  Whether he is proficient at that or not is still up in the air.

His cousin Jay Irvine and best friend Taylor Thomas were recently signed to the 2015 Beaver class, so that gives OSU an edge and a strong connection with Jadarius. It also keeps the Beavers in the minds of players from Jacksonville.   The only reason I don’t have his chance of being a Beaver higher is just because there is a ton of time between now and when he signs.

There will be many that want to see a huge upgrade in fanfare and stars with the change from Mike Riley to Gary Andersen, and coach really wants the best players possible for sure. Those people may be a little underwhelmed by Byrd and that is a shame.  I compare him with former Beaver Dennis Weathersby.  He is not as big as Dennis was, but Dennis was fearless and was always in the right place.  Byrd is of that mold and I think many in Beaver Nation will be shocked with how good he really is.  He is from a good school in a good conference in Jacksonville so he has played against some Division 1 talent.  I think this is a very good pickup for the Beavers at a position where we are going to see a spike in numbers.

Silly Shot In The Dark Guess
My silly, shot-in-the dark guess is that when Jadarius Byrd comes to Oregon State, he has the potential to be a 2-year starter at Corner/Nickle.  A redshirt year will be very important to help him add a few pounds and work on his speed and strength.  The tough deal for me in predicting guys like this is that he seems to be a high motor, intelligent player.  You never know when you are looking at the next Jordan Poyer or someone like that who comes to camp and blows people away.  I can see Byrd being that way, but right now I think he will maybe get in some plays in some packages as a Sophomore but really be part of the flow at corner or nickle as a Junior.

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