NCF On The Trail: Tyler Byrd

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While recruiting remains a marathon and not a sprint, recent trends have shown that it is never too early to look ahead. With the release of the ESPN Junior 300 it is a perfect time to see which programs are having early success. With roughly 10 percent of the prospects in the ESPN Junior 300 committed well over a year and a half before national signing day for the Class of 2016, plenty is still to be determined. Here are five programs, in alphabetical order, standing out early for the 2016 class:

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The state of Florida has always been known for producing some of the top athletes in the country. The term "athlete" is sometimes looked at as a negative term, but it really means our scouts believe these talented prospects could play more than one position in college. Here is a closer look at some of the top athletes from the Sunshine State in the 2015 class.

ESPN 300 athletes from Florida

No. 8 Torrance Gibson: Gibson is a skilled athlete who can make plays on offense. The five-star athlete led his high school, Plantation American Heritage, to the state championship game. In the game, he had a touchdown run of 80 yards and also a long touchdown pass that was among the "SportsCenter" Top 10 plays. He wants to play quarterback on the next level, but he’s the most talented wide receiver on his South Florida Express 7-on-7 team. Whatever position he chooses, Gibson has a bright future ahead of him.


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Gators land first 2016 commit

June, 20, 2013
6/20/13
2:40
PM ET
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida received it's first 2016 verbal commitment on Thursday as Naples (Fla.) High School athlete Tyler Byrd verbally committed to head coach Will Muschamp.

Tyler Byrd
Derek Tyson/ESPNNaples, Fla., wide receiver Tyler Byrd committed to Florida after attending summer camp on campus last week.
The 5-foot-11, 185-pound athlete totaled 451 receiving yards and eight touchdowns as a freshman.

"Florida was my childhood favorite team," Byrd said. "So I grew up watching them all the time. Then I went up there and the campus was really nice and so were the coaches. I just knew that once I got an opportunity to play for the Gators, I didn't need to waste any time."

Byrd said the Florida coaches were excited to learn of his commitment.

"Coach [D.J.] Durkin is recruiting me, so I called him and he put me on the phone with Muschamp," Byrd said. "They were excited when I told them."

Byrd said Florida fans can rest easy about his commitment to the Gators.

"I mean, I might see a few other schools," he said, "but Florida is the school I grew up liking and that's where I want to go."

Florida has no 2015 commits, while Byrd is the first for 2016.

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