Alabama RB Shadrick Byrd Discusses Decision to Sign with Hawkeyes

December 19, 2018

Written by Rob Howe

You can call Kirk Ferentz the closer. That’s certainly the case when it comes to Shadrick Byrd.

The running back from Alabama met one-on-one with Ferentz, Iowa’s longtime head coach, during his official visit this past weekend. It was within the conversation that Byrd realized he’d found his college home.

“Talking with him just about life and both of our journeys so far, it meant a lot. He’s a very humble guy and somebody I wanted to play for,” Byrd told HN.

He signed his national letter of intent with the Hawkeyes Wednesday, making his commitment official.

“I’m comfortable with the decision because my family was comfortable. That helped a lot. My coaches were happy for me and told me to do what’s best for me and this was. Also (Iowa RB) Coach (Derrick) Foster and me both basically having the same background was big. Talking with him about that, it helps. It tells me I’m in great hands,” Byrd said.

He rushed 215 times for 1,340 yards and 14 touchdowns in helping Alabaster (AL) Thompson High reach the state title game. It was his second season in a row exceeding 1,000 yards on the ground.

Byrd reported scholarship offers from Duke, Louisville, North Carolina, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest, among others. He chose the Hawkeyes ahead of Troy, the home-state school that runs an offense similar to the one at his high school.

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“Hawkeye fans can expect a hardworking kid that will give them everything he has on and off the field. I’m somebody that expects to work hard before getting a chance to play. I’m a kid that loves football and hates losing more than he loves winning,” he said.

Rivals and 247 both view Byrd as a three-star prospect. The latter sees him as the No. 83 player at his position nationally in the ’19 recruiting class.

“The recruiting process, to me, everything is a blessing and all things are signs. I personally never let it get to me. In my eyes, it’s free education, first, then it’s football, second. You just have to trust your feeling and put everything in God’s hands and he’ll lead you to where you need to be,” he said.

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Byrd will bring with him to Iowa City an attitude to succeed.

“My first-year goal at Iowa is to work. I’m not coming in looking for easy playing time. I’m not coming in trying to be a superstar. Work comes first, so whatever my professors need out of me as a student comes first. (Strength) coach (Chris) Doyle, anything he needs out of me in the weight room will come next. Whatever coach Foster needs me to do as a back I will make sure I do. So on and so forth, contribute to wherever the team needs me to contribute at,” he said.

The Hawkeyes used three backs this season and have settled into a multi-back system. Byrd will be trying to find his niche in the rotation.

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“(The Iowa coaches) see me as a kid that can come in and work hard for them. If I work hard, then you can earn playing time,” he said.

“Coach Foster sees me as a smart guy with a great ability to catch out of the backfield. He sees me as someone that can pick the offense up and help the other great backs out that we have. I wasn’t promised anything and that’s what I liked the most talking to them.”

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