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October 11, 2010

Byrd close to decision?

Sicklerville (N.J.) Timber Creek wide receiver Damiere Byrd made his way to Columbia yet again over the weekend, this time for his official visit to South Carolina.

The 5-foot-9 speedster gave South Carolina's 35-21 victory over Alabama a very positive review.

"Not many times do you get to see the number one team in the nation play, let alone see them lose," he told GamecockCentral.com. "South Carolina really showed what it can do. Their passing game was strong and that stood out to me as a wide receiver."

A pair of offensive performances caught the attention of the Garden State playmaker.

"Alshon Jeffery stepped up and made plays," Byrd said. "He showed everybody what he's basically been doing every game. (Stephen) Garcia silenced all his critics. He played a complete game."

ESPN's GameDay crew was also in town to capture the atmosphere in Columbia, and Byrd also got to take that in during the visit.

"I always watch GameDay on TV but never thought I would be there live," he said. "That was real cool to be walking around out there while all that was going on."

The 80,000-plus fans inside Williams-Brice Stadium were also an attention-grabber for Byrd, who has been timed as low as 4.26 seconds in the 40-yard dash.

"Man, nobody sat down at all the whole game," he said. "It was definitely a hostile environment. The towels were waving and everybody was jumping up and down. It was electric."

Byrd, who was hosted on the visit by freshman wide receiver Ace Sanders, also got a closer look at the academics at the university.

"If you don't graduate at South Carolina it is your own fault," he said. "The academic support is very strong. They graduate a lot of players."

The four-star prospect said he spent time on campus with recruiter G.A. Mangus, wide receivers coach Steve Spurrier, Jr., and also met with head coach Steve Spurrier.

Byrd has talked about making one more official visit to another SEC program in Ole Miss. He said that the trip though, is up in the air.

"Not sure yet," he replied when asked if the trip was still scheduled.

Byrd added that his decision would come "relatively soon." Though he is not claiming a public leader, he gave high marks to his USC official.

"South Carolina was already in good standing with me," he said. "I mean, I've been down there before and I've seen everything. I like it a lot, but I don't have a leader."

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