One spot where the Oklahoma Sooners knew they were going to need a quick turnaround for the 2013 college football season was in the defensive secondary. The Sooners face fast paced passing offenses for the bulk of their schedule and so being able to bolster their secondary is a must. So the Sooners were very fortunate to land 4-star safety Hatari Byrd from Central East HS in Fresno, CA.
Byrd has great size for a freshman, 6-1, 190lbs and as you can see by these highlights he’s the complete package.
He’s comfortable getting up on the line of scrimmage and stuffing the run, dropping deep into zone and he also shows nice skills playing man against slot receivers. He covers a lot of field in a hurry, and shows excellent instincts going after the football. Considering the situation the Sooners are in at safety with the departure of Tony Jefferson, I won’t be at all shocked if Byrd is a starting safety for the 2013 season. If he can get himself up to speed on the defensive play calls and with no elite talent to beat out the starting spot next to Gabe Lynn will be his.
After watching several of his games on video this past year, I feel like the Sooners have the next great Oklahoma safety to come along. He’s got a frame that can fill out a little and allow him to play more physical, work off blocks and deliver a blow to the ball carrier. If he can get up to around 210lbs he’d be a wrecking ball on the back end of Sooners defense.
I really do feel like Byrd is going to be a great player and he’s going to be a great player very soon. So Sooners fans, go find Byrd on Twitter @HBizzy559 and give him some love. The future is bright for this young man.