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Top 60 Countdown: No. 6, WR LaRon Byrd

The University of Miami will probably have a tough time getting another first round draft pick streak started at the end of this season (barring an Allen Bailey breakthrough). But the one after this could be loaded with big timers. None bigger in my opinion than No. 6 on our countdown of The Top 60 players at The U: LaBig Byrd, sophomore LaRon Byrd. Last year, his numbers weren't flashy. But the highlight reel he put together was. It should get even bigger soon.

Laron Byrd > What we heard about him on Signing Day '08: Considered the second best receiver in Louisiana out of high school, scouts weren't big believers in big Byrd. Rivals.com had him as the 60th best receiver in the country and Scout had him 69th. As a senior at Hahnville High, Byrd caught 50 passes for 630 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also played some safety, picking off three passes while leading his team to a 10-3 record. A standout basketball player, he averaged more than 20 pointes per games as a junior.

> What he's done as a Cane: Who could forget the amazing catch he made in the back of the end zone at the end of regulation in UM's come-from-behind win at Virginia? He finished sixth on the team overall with 21 catches for 228 yards and three scores, but was the only UM player with a catch in at least 12 games. This spring, he got bigger and faster and now stands 6-4, 215 pounds and improved his 40 time a full tenth of a second to 4.43. His 3.98 shuttle time was the quickest on the team. He has a 36.5 inch vertical. Strength-wise his squat went from 250 pounds last year to 320, his bench went from 225 to 260 and his power clean improved from 132 pounds to 230.

> What Eye On The U expects from him in '09: LaBig Byrd has all the intangibles to be another Canes great. His size, speed and hands are unmatched on the team and he's just a sophomore. This summer, he worked hand-in-hand with former Canes greats Ed Reed and Reggie Wayne (fellow Louisiana natives) to learn the game even more. If Randy Shannon stays true to his word about a smaller rotation at receiver, Byrd could be primed for a huge season -- especially around the end zone where he should be able to use his big body to haul in plenty of touchdown passes. If he ends up being as special as his coaches thinks he will, the Canes will have to retire the No. 47 twice. Once for Michael Irvin and once for Byrd.

Comments

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Byrd is the real deal! This guy spots the football and snatches it out of the air.

Forget about starting 1st round streak next year! These sophmores have to stay for their senior years. If they don't, UM's rebuilding project will be sunk! J. Harris, B harris, Johnson, Byrd, Forston, and Spence need to be senior leaders on this team.

u the man .... firsttttttttt.....

We'll see...right now he's just potential.

Just finish this top 60 already...

Dragging it out has been such over kill.

Peeps....of course these young guys are not "proven" yet....they just completed freshman year. BUT, all the signs point to the dominating skill positions we have enjoyed up until 2002. Don't be fooled...the "U" is back and poised to shock some teams this fall...

Great potential, great attitude, and lots of upside. I think he will do well. He'll be even more of a beast when he gets those strength numbers up. For his size, bench and squat should be much better.

Who's left

5. A. Johnson

4. Spence

3. Cooper

2. Fox

1. Harris

In my own order.

Byrd showed great hands last year. With a trimmed down rotation, a less conservative running game, his playing time should increase by 50%. This could translate to 35 - 40 catches this season. In my opinion, the tamdum of Byrd and A. Johnson could be the another outside receiver set that we have not had since H. Copeland and L. Thomas (remember Moss was in the slot). This team can win the ACC with a solid / healthy 1-2 punch of James-Cooper at RB and 30+ receptions each for Byrd and AJ.

Caneboss - I am with you on the top 5. My concern is defense wins Championships and that would mean that only 1 of our top 6 is on the defensive side. Not sure how that will translate in wins...

Let's see if Manny will put Spence higher than 4 for that reason

spence should be #1 without a doubt

5. Johnson
4. Fox
3. Cooper
2. Harris
1. Spence

R u kidding me?

Harris is #1, period.

I also think Byrd is better and more important to the team than Johnson, but only time will tell.

The order of Fox, Cooper, and Harris are a toss-up, but Fox may be the most important given the OL's potential weakness/lack of depth.

BelieveInTheU, Do you actually take the time out to think when you're typing your order in which you think a player will be placed?

No player is more important than its field general AKA the Quarterback. This is a team that's thin in experience. Taylor Cook may have a boat load of talent, but has not been under center in a college game. If Harris goes down, that (most likely) spells trouble for the team. Therefore, there is no way Manny would put any player higher than Jacory Harris. He's got to be number 1, no matter what! Plus the guy proved he can win a game or two for us last year.

I don't think A.J. should be ahead of Byrd, but my opinion obviously doesn't count....:).

Caneboss, I think you're right on with your list.

I say
1. Fox
2. Copper
3. Harris
4. Spence
5. A. Johnson

Surprise offensive player is Damien Berry and on defense Jordan Futch

The top 2 should be Spence and Fox. Manny is smart enough not to put a second year player over a Senior tackle with the best feet in the ACC.

1. Fox
2. Spence
3. Cooper
4. Harris
5. AJ

Just finish this top 60 already...

Dragging it out has been such over kill.

Posted by: King Cane | August 13, 2009 at 07:55 AM

It's taking so long, I am beginning to think this Top 60 before last year's season...

5. Johnson
4. Fox
3. Spence
2. Harris
1. Shannon

All this AJ & Byrdman talk. They're going to be a good...

I just can't wait to see the comments when Hank wins the starting position again. Lol! He's been making the most noise at WR so far. Stay tuned...

I love it, I said it after the Cal game and I'll say it again. LaRon Byrd will be one of the biggest and best receivers in college football this season. Come 2010 he will get his respect and will be ranked higher than A.J. Green and Julio Jones. I said it, now watch it happen.

Damn G-Ville Cane, you must be living in hell up there....

Herbal:

Fox and no.1????

Sean Spence!!!! Being around for 4 years doesn't make you the best player on the team. This logic would have Sam Shields at 2, Sharpton at 3, and Matt Bosher at 4.

Sean Spence is a mother..f'ing stud!!!!!!!! Didn't you see the way he slammed that little midget from UF....he just crushed him dude!!!! 3 months removed from prom and tackling with authority in the Swamp....swagger from the womb.

This is why...
Fox has the best footwork in the ACC; quick feet, he bends at the knees(pass blocking chair), & can mirror the defender. His hand placement always seems to be inside( which prevents holding calls) and he has a great punch. He does get over powered sometimes, specially in the run game, but as a pass blocker He should be one of the best in the Nation.

Spence was the man for 1 year.. He seems to be like Ed Reed at LB but he's 19. For this years team to succeed the Juniors and Seniors will need to play well. Fox is Mr. Consistent. Spence did disappear at times last year and he's undersized.. I'm not doubting his skills but to Me itz all about the OL. Fox reminds me of a smaller version of Bryant Mckenie.

Ohh... Experience counts for a lot.

Fox and the kicker Bosher are the most proven "Players" on the team.

Byrd is my favorite player in a long time. I'm hoping this year the fans will do a bird call every time a catches the ball. It would be awesome!

Where is Marcus Robinson?

Where is Marcus Robinson?

Posted by: Doseman

No. 11

Listen, if Sean Spence goes down (God forbids) Colin McCarthy will replace him with no problem. Any other person remaining on the top 5 can be replaced(outside of Fox & Harris). You can't put neither Cooper nor Johnson 1 or 2 because, there's a plethora of talented running backs and receivers waiting to take their place. I understand that Fox is very valuable to the team, but he can't be more valuable to what's considered to be the brain of the team and that's the quarterback that has to know everyone's play in the playbook. So, my list is as follow:

1. Jacory Harris
2. Jason Fox
3. Craig Cooper
4. Sean Spence
5. Aldarius Johnson


P.S. Craig Cooper & Sean Spence are interchangeable.

I see where ur coming from.. U think QB is the most important position so that player is the most important... The OL is the most important position IMO. I'm also not sure about the depth at LB. we have 4 experienced LB's. Def not 2 deep across the board as of yet. Spence is being counted on not only to play but to lead.

stop calling him LaBig... seriously, just stop...

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