Monday, November 9, 2009

Freshman CB Byrd to start for N.C. State

Despite breaking a four-game losing streak Saturday, N.C. State’s coaches still are shuffling their defense to look for better combinations.

Freshman cornerback Jarvis Byrd is set to make his first start when the Wolfpack plays host to Clemson at noon on Saturday. The depth chart for Clemson released Monday by coach Tom O’Brien shows Byrd starting at boundary cornerback, where he backed up redshirt freshman C.J. Wilson the previous two weeks.

Wilson remains in the starting lineup, though. He will move to field cornerback – where he played earlier in the season – and replace DeAndre Morgan as a starter.

Morgan now will back up Wilson.

Byrd showed N.C. State’s coaches he was ready to play during the open date following an Oct. 17 loss at Boston College during which another freshman cornerback, Rashard Smith, suffered a season-ending knee injury.

After being on schedule to redshirt after seven games, Byrd was installed as a backup to Wilson against Florida State and Maryland. Byrd played 14 snaps and made four tackles at Florida State, then played 30 snaps with two tackles in last week’s 38-31 defeat of Maryland.

"He seemed to feel right at home and wasn’t awed at all at Florida State,” O’Brien said. “He got more playing time on Saturday, did a very good job on Saturday. Wilson has played to the field. After evaluations Saturday, they were the two best corners we have.”

Ken Tysiac