August 17, 2010

Rivals250 standout eager to see three favorites this fall

Damiere Byrd started fall camp at Timber Creek High School in Sicklerville, N.J., on Monday, marking the beginning of his much-anticipated senior season.

The return to the practice fields also meant Byrd, a coveted four-star wide receiver/running back, is fast approaching the heart of the recruiting process.

Byrd, a Rivals250 member ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 5 prospect in New Jersey, has plans to take three official visits this fall, and he knows which of those programs he wants to see first.

Byrd was offered by Ole Miss earlier this summer. Since then, he has begun to build a strong relationship with Ole Miss wide receivers coach Ron Dickerson Jr.

"We've been getting to know each other and now, I'm just waiting and trying to get down there," Byrd said. "(Dickerson) seems like a family man. When I'm on the phone with him, I can hear his wife and kids in the background. I've actually talked to his wife occasionally and I really get the feeling like he's another family friend. I'm very comfortable with him."

Byrd, a 5-foot-9, 156-pounder with documented 4.5-second speed in the 40-yard dash, said he wants to visit Ole Miss, South Carolina and Iowa this fall. While those plans don't necessarily count out Cincinnati, Florida, Pittsburgh, Virginia, West Virginia, Boston College, Nebraska, Rutgers, Stanford, Vanderbilt or Wisconsin _ all of which have offered _ they are indicative of schools that have gained steam in race for Byrd's signature.

"Iowa and Ole Miss are schools I haven't been able to see yet," said Byrd, who has visited South Carolina previously. "Also, all three programs are programs that I have a good relationship with the coaches. Ole Miss just came in with all of them and my relationship with them is advancing very well. I just really want to be over there and see how it is over there."

Byrd hasn't set up any dates for his visits, but he said he's hoping his trip to Ole Miss comes on a weekend when the Rebels are hosting a home game at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

"Right now, I'm just working on official visits," Byrd said. "Once I take two or three, I'll figure it out. I want to make a decision before the signing day. All of the schools are good schools and good systems for me and when I get down there, (his assessment of Ole Miss and other programs pursuing him) each one will be based on interactions with players."

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