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April 4, 2004
North Augusta two-way standout C.J. Byrd was offered a football school by Wake Forest on Saturday after returning from an unofficial visit to the University of Georgia.
It was offer No. 19 for the WR and FS who is nicknamed "Big Byrd." The other offers are from Oklahoma, LSU, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, Auburn, Duke, Clemson, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Maryland, Illinois, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, North Carolina, Georgia Tech and South Carolina.
"Wake Forest offers an Ivy League-type education," North Augusta Drew Hummel said. "Education is paramount for C.J. and his family. I'm sure they will give Wake Forest a good look just like they have and will with everybody who has offered."
"Big Byrd" went to the University of Georgia for Junior Day on Saturday. The Bulldogs covet Byrd and said the 6-foot-3, 185-pounder would be given a chance to play both ways at the SEC school.
"I'd love the chance to play both ways, if it would help the team I was playing for," Byrd said. "Obviously, my first focus would be learning one position, but if it worked out that the team needed me some on both sides of the ball that would be great. Georgia has a history of two-way players, with guys like Champ Bailey."
"Big Byrd" and his family spent nearly two hours talking with and being shown around the facilities by Georgia coach Mark Richt. Byrd said he was appreciative of the personal attention.
"Coach Richt has always seemed like a great person on TV, and he was the same way in person," Byrd said. "He is very genuine and sincere. He really seems to care about his players."
Before "Big Byrd" left the Georgia football center, he had a chance to speak with Georgia All-America DE David Pollack. Pollack had been given the day off from practice by Georgia coaches.
"It was late and just about everybody else had left building," Byrd said. "And there was (Pollack) lifting weights, pushing himself to the max. It was an amazing sight to see. I mean, he had the day off and was in there going at the weights hard.
"It was great to talk to (Pollack) because I've always liked the things he stands for. He is spiritual and doesn't try to hide it. He is very grounded and doesn't let all the publicity go to his head. Finally, of course, he is a great, great player.
"Georgia is a great place. It's only a 100 miles away from my home and it's chance to compete for the national championship. When I was there, you could feel the electricity in the air. They definitely have high expections for the upcoming season."
"Big Byrd" will make an unofficial trip to Florida on Wednesday. North Augusta has spring break all this week due to the Masters golf tournament.