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National Signing Day 2016: Welcome to Tennessee, Tyler Byrd!

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Byrd is essentially a much faster version of #29 above (former Vandy CB Casey Hayward)
Byrd is essentially a much faster version of #29 above (former Vandy CB Casey Hayward)
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

What you need to know

Name Hometown Position Height Weight 247 Composite 247 Position Rank Stars
Tyler Byrd Naples, FL
0.9552 10

Tennessee commitment Carlin Fils-aime's brother, Tyler Byrd is an elite defensive back and athlete who can play on both sides of the ball. Byrd committed to Miami under Al Golden's coaching staff and held firm in his commitment until interim head coach Larry Scott was hired away by the Vols. A top 100 national recruit, Byrd pairs formidable size for a cornerback (close to 6 feet and 200 pounds) with exceptional speed and instincts.

Although Byrd was well known in recruiting circles, he really blew up on the national scene following his dominating performance in the U.S. Army All American Bowl in January. Byrd's team lost, but the defensive back showed off his athleticism by intercepting a pass (3:49 or so in the above video), blocking an extra point and returning for two points (4:50), and making three tackles. He more than held his own in single coverage against the nation's top wide receivers.

On the field, Byrd is an intimidating combination of size and speed who resembles current Tennessee cornerback Justin Martin. With Cam Sutton's return to school, Byrd is likely to see the field on special teams as he works to learn defensive coordinator Bob Shoop's system. Unlike previous Tennessee defensive coordinator Jon Jancek's interchangeable cornerbacks, Shoop prefers to play with two defined cornerback positions, "field cornerback" or the wide side of the field (when the ball is on the opposite hash) and "boundary cornerback" or the short side of the field. Shoop's system means that the boundary cornerback must have the size to hold his own against the run game and the speed (and confidence) to play on an island without deep help. Byrd has the ideal measurables for Shoop's scheme and he'll have every opportunity to earn playing time as soon as possible.

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