BOCA RATON – Much needed help at center may be on the way for FAU.
Pierre Byrd, who last played at Itawamba Community College (Mississippi) in 2015 and still has two years of eligibility remaining, says he committed to play for FAU next season.
“They’ve got everything lined up,” Byrd said. “I think something special is brewing at Florida Atlantic. I want to be a part of it.”
Byrd signed with Arkansas St. on National Signing Day in 2016 but says he never enrolled at the school, citing academic promises that the Red Wolves failed to fulfill.
He sat out all of the 2016 season and when word got out that the 6-foot, 300-pound center was back on the market interest started pouring in from the likes of Tulane, Old Dominion and Marshall.
He committed to FAU without ever visiting the campus. He plans to enroll at FAU for summer classes and will be eligible to play in 2017.
“I feel like I can come down there and help out and do what I can do best – that’s play the game of football,” Byrd said.
Even with a quarterback battle for the second consecutive spring, the center spot has been the biggest offensive uncertainty this spring.
The Owls are looking for a replacement for the graduated Dillon DeBoer. His backup last season, Richard Williams, underwent offseason surgery and isn’t participating in spring drills.
Thus far this spring the Owls have tried guard Antonyo Woods and tackle Reggie Bain at the center spot, but both admit they have a ways to go before feeling comfortable.
The Owls have experienced success with junior college centers before, nabbing Mustafa Johnson from Riverside Community College in 2012. He because a two-year starter and was the leader of the offensive line.
Byrd said he elected to commit to FAU so quickly after he received the offer – the Owls offered him a few hours before he elected to commit – because he was tired of the uncertainty and the mental rigors of the recruiting process.
His commitment doesn’t become binding until he signs a National Letter of Intent.
“I’m just glad to be Owl,” Byrd said.