O’Gorman lineman commits to USD

BY JEREMY HOECK

jeremy.hoeck@yankton.net

The University of South Dakota will have another Byrd on its football roster.

Sioux Falls O’Gorman lineman Nathan Byrd, the son of a former Coyote, verbally committed last week to play football at the University of South Dakota, he said Sunday night. He will sign as a preferred walk-on.

“It was a long decision. I looked at everything, but overall, USD was just the best option,” said the 6-foot-7, 265-pound Byrd, who played both sides of the ball last season for O’Gorman.

Byrd will follow in his father’s collegiate footsteps. His father, Tim, was a standout defensive back for USD in the late 1980s and still holds the school record for interceptions in a game (3).

As for joining a Coyote program looking to climb the ladder in the Missouri Valley Football Conference, the younger Byrd said he likes what he sees.

“I looked at their program, especially what they have right now,” he said. “With their size and speed, I think I can match that and play with everyone.”

Byrd said he had a scholarship offer from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, but informed the USD coaches when they called last Tuesday.

Byrd, though, very nearly could be pursuing a college career in football. A former basketball player for the Knights, he eventually turned his attention to football – he said he “lifted a ton” and improved his footwork last summer.

“I was questioning football at first, but I realized when I got on the field (prior to last season), I loved it,” Byrd said. “There was something about it.

“Even right now, I miss playing.”

National Signing Day is Wednesday, Feb. 4.

You can follow Jeremy Hoeck on Twitter at twitter.com/jhoeck. Discuss this story at http://www.yankton.net.

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