SEC Country reporter Blake Morgan will candidly answer your Tennessee sports queries each weekday in our Mailbag Question of the Day. Join the conversation by sending your questions via Twitter to @SECCountryVols, Tennessee Insiders Facebook page or by email to Blake at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s no secret there was frustration from the fan base last season with the use of Tyler Byrd. In fairness, I think there was frustration from the coaching staff toward Byrd and vice versa.
Byrd has played wide receiver the past two seasons for the Vols with mixed success. He showed flashes toward the end of his freshman year as a game-breaking wide receiver who is dangerous on jet sweeps. Byrd had 15 catches for 209 yards and he rushed for 63 yards.
Byrd had a falling out with the coaching staff last season and couldn’t get on the field. Despite the injuries at the wide receiver position, Byrd remained on the sideline and healthy. He caught 3 passes last season for 27 yards and a touchdown.
Byrd seemed as excited as any player on the roster at the coaching change. It could be because he believes he is in store for a different position.
Byrd put out this somewhat cryptic tweet after coach Jeremy Pruitt was hired.
— Tyler Byrd (@D1fuzzymuffin17) December 7, 2017
He has also changed his Twitter bio to say he is a defensive back at Tennessee.
The change would make sense for both Byrd and the team. Byrd was the No. 10 cornerback coming out of high school in the Class 0f 2016, according to the 247Sports composite rankings. He was a U.S. Army All-American as a cornerback.
The team is also losing four cornerbacks from last season’s roster. There aren’t any defensive back commits this cycle to help mitigate the losses, either.
Byrd hasn’t played defensive back in two years and he might be rusty if he makes the switch. He would be learning under Pruitt, though, who is regarded as one of the best defensive back coaches in the country.
If Byrd won’t be used on the offensive end, then returning to defense seems like a smart career move for the rising junior.
For answers to prior Tennessee Questions of the Day, click here.