Vol fans have been clamoring for Tennessee wide receiver Tyler Byrd to switch positions and play on defense. And it appears those wishes may finally be coming true if you believe Twitter.
Byrd has changed his Twitter bio on his profile to read “Defensive Back @ The University of Tennessee.” A bio change on Twitter means nothing, but it’s hard to believe that Byrd would do that without the okay of his coaching staff.
Byrd showed flashes of potential as a freshman at receiver. He caught 15 passes for 209 yards and ran the ball eight times for 63 yards. He also returned 10 kickoffs for an average of 26.3 yards per return. But his usage on offense dropped significantly in 2017, and he only recorded three receptions for 27 yards and a touchdown while getting just two carries for 19 yards. He also attempted a pass on a trick play and returned one kickoff.
Coming out of high school, Byrd was listed as a four-star and the No. 10 cornerback in the 2016 class according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. He played both receiver and corner for Naples High School in Florida, and Butch Jones and his staff elected to play him at receiver rather than corner.
But now the Vols have a much bigger need at corner than receiver. The Vols lost a trio of senior cornerbacks after this season in Justin Martin, Emmanuel Moseley, and Shaq Wiggins, and Rashaan Gaulden declared early for the draft. Tennessee won’t have a single senior on the roster at cornerback next season, and Marquill Osborne and Baylen Buchanan are the only two projected juniors at cornerback for 2018.
If Byrd is going to switch positions, now is the time.
Jeremy Pruitt hasn’t made any official position changes to any player as of yet. He just arrived in Knoxville on Tuesday afternoon after helping Alabama win yet another national championship on Monday night. Pruitt is scheduled to talk to the media on Wednesday afternoon at 1:30 Eastern, and we will have live coverage of his press conference.