Hard to believe, but there are under 70 days until the Broncos storm the Capital to take on the Hokies. As you may remember, last summer I embarked on the Herculean task of counting down a different roster spot for each remaining day until kickoff. So far this year, we're batting a thousand, so drop me notes of encouragement now and again so I can find the strength to get through the next couple months without breaking the streak.
We've got 66 days until kickoff...so today we'll be taking a look at #66 on the Boise State roster—Thomas Byrd
#66, Thomas Byrd, Junior, C
Weight: 285 lbs.
High School: McClymond High School, Oakland, CA
How'd he get to The Blue™?
At McClymond High School, the stocky Byrd was a 3-sport star, lettering in football, track and field (please oh please tell me the 110m hurdles was his event) and wrestling. Byrd garnered All-OAL honors as a sophomore, junior and senior and was named first-team All-East Bay for his gridiron efforts. As a senior, Byrd was named to the "Cream of the Crop" list, was named offensive MVP and helped his team finish as the top rushing team (244.2 yards per game) in the OAL (Oakland Athletic League). Byrd was offered by Boise State and San José State.
"/ˈkɜrnl/ Show Spelled"
No sense messing with this one.
I understand that fumbles on center/QB exchanges are often the quarterback's fault...but Kellen Moore is perfect, so that can't be case, can it?
Named to the 2009 Rimington award watch list. Started all 14 games in 2009. Anchor of offensive line that produced at least one 100+ yard game for 4 different players. Part of 2009 line that allowed fewest sacks (5) in the nation.
Rewatch the 2009 Oregon and Hawaii games. Ouch.
Byrd has been a bit of an enigma in his short Bronco career. In 2008, he locked up the starting center gig and looked like he'd be an All-WAC mainstay for the remainder of his time here. In 2009, preseason love started to spread for the studious Byrd and his Kellen Moore-esque football IQ—he was named to the Rimington Award watch list (for the nation's top interior lineman), and was thought to be on his way to a breakout sophomore year. Then, the season actually started, and people were left wondering exactly what was eating Thomas Byrd. The Oregon game, remembered by most of America for Lagarrette Blount's pugilistic exhibition, will be remembered by Bronco fans as the beginning of what has been dubbed "fumblepalooza". Yes, the Bronco's won that night...but confidence in Thomas Byrd was shaken to the core...and unfortunately, the following weeks did not assuage our fears. Byrd seemed to be slumping and no one really knew why. The coaches tried to diagnose the problem, saying it was just a little tweak...Kellen Moore even fell on the sword and offered a contrite "my bad", but something was up with Byrd and it seemed largely mental. By the end of 2009 Byrd seemed to have figured things out...the botched snaps became less frequent and his blocking duties, which were never a problem, were spot-on. So, now 2010 is upon us and no one really knows which Thomas Byrd will be taking the field at FedEx on Labor Day. Hopefully it's the one we saw promise in in 2008, and the one that helped the O-line give up a nation's fewest 5 sacks in 2009. If it's the one that bounced snaps off Kellen Moore's shinbones multiple times in a single game...God help us all.
For the record, my money is on Byrd having a stellar 2010 season and pulling in first or second-team all-conference honors. I sure hope he doesn't land on any preseason watch lists this year, though—that really screwed with his head.
Completely made up fact
For Halloween, Byrd dressed up like Count Chocula. Chandler Koch was Franken Berry.