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August 31, 2004North Augusta ATH C.J. Byrd, South Carolina's consensus No. 1 prospect, will take in the University of Georgia's season-opener this weekend.
Byrd (6-3, 189, 4.37) is scheduled to travel with his highly regarded teammate, junior LB Marcus Jackon (6-0, 200, 4.5) , to watch the Bulldogs play against Georgia Southern. Byrd's five finalists are Georgia, Clemson, Southern California, Florida and Florida State.
In North Augusta's season-opener, Byrd made a clutch interception in the fourth quarter of the 20-18 loss to Strom Thurmond High School. Byrd returned the interception 65 yards for a touchdown, but the officials later decided he stepped out of bounds at the 30-yard line, nullifying the score.
Byrd had a 41-yard kickoff return to open the game, finished with eight tackles on defense and three catches for 52 yards on offense. Byrd drew enormous attention from Thurmond's defense, and had the first pass thrown to him with six minutes left in the game.
"I'm never satisfied with any game I ever play and the Thurmond game was no exception," Byrd said. "I really don't care about individual stats. The only thing that matters is winning, and we didn't win. It was a bad week. We have to put it behind us and move on."
Against Thurmond, Jackson showed why he is one of the state's top juniors and has already drawn attention from the likes of Georgia, UCLA, Clemson, South Carolina and Georgia Tech, among others. Jackson had 14 tackles, two sacks and one tackle for loss.