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September 19, 2010

Great LSU WR, Demetrius Byrd Interview

by Max Strauss

Demetrius Byrd played wide receiver for Louisiana State University. He first started playing at Pearl River Junior College and was a complete stud. He then played for LSU in 2008 and 2009 totaling over 1000 receiving yards, 11 touchdowns, and had 72 receptions. He entered the 2009 NFL Draft, but was selected in the 7th round by the San Diego Chargers. When he was drafted, he was in a coma after suffering a serious car accident. He signed with the San Diego Chargers, and was placed on the non-football injury reserve list. This interview was conducted before the 2010 NFL season.

Download the AUDIO interview, right-click this.

Announcement : Hello, my name is Max Strauss, and with me today for an interview, is Demetrius Byrd, former seventh round pick by the San Diego Chargers, and 2-year star LSU wide receiver. At LSU, he had 72 receptions for 1,134 yards, and eleven touchdowns. Make sure you stop by my website, and stay tuned for more interviews. Thanks again for listening, I hope you enjoy this one.

Strauss : How long have you played football?

Byrd : My first time playing football was, I want to say fifteen. That was my first time to be able to play a contact sport. I played flag football, my first time I played for Scott Lake. My second team was Miami Lakes. It was pretty exciting and a pretty good experience. My next trip was to play high school ball. I didn’t get to play ninth, tenth, and eleventh grade because I didn’t have good grades, so that’s why I didn’t play. But I did manage to get my grades right going into my twelfth grade year, so that’s how I became eligible to play football my senior year.

Strauss : Did you play any other sports  in high school?

Byrd : Yeah, I did play another sport when I was in high school. I ran track. That was my first love. Track is my love. Football is my love. But, if there’s harm in me playing football, then I’ll do my other love, and that’s running track. That’s how I feel.

Strauss : Did you have a favorite memory from running track?

Byrd : I have a great memory from running track. During my junior  year when I ran track, it was during a 4×100, and it was the first meet of the year. I went out there, and we won it in a 41.6. That was smoking! Then, I ran the 200, and I ran it in 21.9 seconds. We won that. They found out on the 4×100 I ran a 9.8 during the second leg. We also won, like the third total in the state, with the 200 also. Those are some good memories right there.

Strauss : Did you have a favorite football team growing up?

Byrd : Yeah, my favorite football team and still, my favorite team is the Dolphins. I’m from Miami. I love the Dolphins.

Strauss : Do you go to Dolphins’ games?

Byrd : Um, no I don’t. I went to one. But to answer your question of when was my first professional game, that was when I was with the Chargers and it was when they played the San Francisco 49ers in preseason. I went to that game. And, it was actually my first time big time one. Being on the sidelines, that was my big time game there. But as far as going to Dolphins’ games, I went to a Dolphin game back when I was in high school, back in 2005, they played the New England Patriots.

Strauss : So, what are you doing right now, since you are not in the NFL?

Byrd : Right now, I’m just doing therapy and I’m doing a little work-ins. It’s just to keep a little money in my pockets. I do work and, I do therapy like Monday through Thursday. So, I’m always on therapy.

Strauss : Why do you have a twitter and why do you connect to your fans?

Byrd : As a matter of fact, I’m glad you asked me that. I want to tell all my fans and everybody who loves LSU, not only just me. Like, far as, fans, that just love LSU to follow me. If you have a twitter, you can go ahead and follow me. I’m one who will talk back to you. I’m probably one of the only athletes that will follow you back, and will talk back to you. My message to all my tweeters, I have a twitter so I can connect with my fans, and show my fans the real me, and I’m not out here trying to be fake. I’m going to give you me, 100 percent.

Strauss : Who was your childhood star?

Byrd : Hands down, Jerry Rice because I loved the way he played and he’s a hard working man. Jerry Rice because he was one of those guys that always is being loved. He played Division 1, AA. And, he was the greatest to ever live, to ever do, and it’s him.

Strauss : If you could meet anyone, who you have not met before, who would it be and why?

Byrd : Wow, man, I would to love meet Trey Songz. Because I love his music. He is, hands down, one of the best R&B/Blues out, so I’d love to meet Trey Songz and just talk to him, pick his brain, have a conversation with him.

Strauss : Why did you decide to wear number two at LSU?

Byrd : Okay, the reason I decided to wear number 2 at LSU is because it was the closest number to number one. Number one, it is my favorite number because that’s the number I wore in Junior College and wore in high school too. The reason I didn’t wear it at LSU is because 1 was already taken, but number 2 was empty and number 3 was open, so I didn’t want to take number 3, so I take 2, and it turned out to be one of my favorite numbers.

Strauss : What was the hardest transition between high school and college?

Byrd : The hardest thing is basically, really the adjustment, because you have to learn this game. You have to get whipped in shape. That’s what I would say were the hardest things to adjust to.

Strauss : In college, how did your game improve?

Byrd : If you were to get my highlight of catches my junior year, it would show you how I used to run my slants. I didn’t put a stick in front of my slants, but if you were to watch me, my senior year, my cuts were crisper than before.

Strauss : When you were at LSU, what was the important thing you learned off the field that helped you on the field?

Byrd : The most important thing is basically is going to class, and resting, man, because you got to rest your body. In order to perform, you got to rest. And in order to get the chance to perform, you have to go to class.

Strauss : Who was the hardest person to get by in college? Why?

Byrd : It had to be my teammates, I’m going to say that. Trust me. Nobody out there that wasn’t on my team could not stop me because they don’t know what I was going to do. Even my teammates didn’t know what I was going to do, but I practiced with them everyday, so they knew what kind of moves I brought. They don’t know, but they have an idea. The person I’m going against, they don’t know anything.

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Strauss : So, what was your whole draft day experience like? When were you expecting to get drafted?

Byrd : Well, to remind you, I was in a coma when I got drafted so I don’t know none of that. Yeah, I was supposed to get drafted in the second round somewhere like that. I could have slipped to the first round, you never know. But I had a great combine, but unfortunately I was in the hospital, out of my mind, I was in a coma so I didn’t even know I had gotten drafted. I woke up out of the coma I told my mom, ‘What am I doing here? I got to get ready for the draft.’ She told me, ‘You already got drafted.’ And, I was like ‘Woh!’

Strauss : When you signed with the Chargers, what was that experience like?

Byrd : That’s just like anybody, just signing a contract, signing with a team. I was like, ‘$***’ I didn’t mean to curse, sorry excuse my language, but that’s just how I felt. You know, real happy, really blessed, like most people don’t even get drafted, like the Texas Tech quarterback. The good thing was that I got drafted, he didn’t even get drafted. But instead, I got drafted in a coma, so I felt real blessed to get to sign a contract.

Strauss : What was your favorite experience at LSU, the best thing that happened at LSU?

Byrd : The best thing that happened was when I caught that catch against Auburn. I hope the fans will never forget that. My kids’ kids will remember that day. I just, just will never forget that. It’s also one of those moments right there, that catch. I love that. I love that memory.

Strauss : So, I read somewhere that you were known as the best dancer on the LSU football team?

Byrd : Yeah, you can write that down, I did what I did, there was a section on ESPN, where I did the Michael Jackson dance before we played Auburn in 2008 at their field.

Strauss : Who was your best buddy on the Tigers?

Byrd : Just all of them just all of them were my boys.

Strauss : What’s a good experience of yours that didn’t have to do with football?

Byrd :  A good experience was when my family came to see me in the hospital.  That’s one that just answered my prayers.

Strauss : Do you have a nickname?

Byrd : Yeah, they called ‘Byrdman’ or ‘DByrd’ or anything like that. I don’t know if you can see it on your phone, but most people tweet me, when I tweet them back, I send that little ‘Byrdman’ sign back, that is the sign that LSU students made that sign up for me when I score a touchdown, so I started doing that. And, it’s cool too.

Strauss : What’s the best thing that ever happened to you?

Byrd : Hmm, shoot, the best thing that has happened to me was waking up this morning.

Strauss : What’s an experience that you’ve had that changed your life for better or worse?

Byrd : The experience of the accident, it made me open up my eyes, and really show me. So, you know what I’m saying. So, with him, everything is possible.

Strauss : For someone who wants to play football in the NFL, what’s the best advice you can give?

Byrd : The best advice I could give, and this comes from Demetrius Byrd, is never give up. No matter what someone tells you. Never give up! Work, work, work, work hard, never give up! That’s all I could tell you. And, I have a quote. I don’t know if it’s somebody else’s quote, but just work, work, work. Never give up. Because also, the strong shall only survive and the weak fall by the wayside. Meaning, if you’re strong enough, you’re going to make it, to whatever you want to do. You could be whatever you want to be. But, if you’re weak, you might as well, give up, you won’t make it anywhere.

Strauss : Is there anything you want to tell your fans that we have not discussed?

Byrd : Yeah, I’d like to tell my fans, just to stay tuned in with me. Keep praying for me. If you’re praying for me, just keep prayer open for me. And, also, if you’re a fan of me, or a fan of LSU, you can become a fan on Facebook. I have a fan page, and I have highlight videos of me on there. You can become a fan. And also, you can follow me on twitter. I will follow back and I will talk to you if you talk to me. That’s all I want to say. Thanks for all of you to tuning into this. Thanks for taking time out to invite me.

Strauss : Thanks for doing the interview, I really appreciate it!

Byrd : No problem man, my pleasure man.

Announcement: Thank you for listening to the interview with Demetrius Byrd. In addition to the audio interview, there are personal questions he answered below. Do you have anything in common with him personally, scroll down below, you can read his answers.

–>Here are the personal questions that Demetrius answered.<–

Strauss : What’s your favorite snack food?

Byrd : I love sweet potato pie without anything in it.

Strauss : What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?

Byrd : It’s Strawberry, and Butter Pecan, and no, not together.

Strauss : What would you want your last meal on Earth to be?

Byrd : It would be a southern meal. Collard greens, sweet potatoes, cornbread, fried chicken, and mac n’ cheese.

Strauss : What’s your favorite video game?

Byrd : As of right now, anything EA Sports, I’m down with Madden, NCAA, NBA Live. I like NBA 2k. I love competitive sport games, and not really a shooting gamer. I love March Madness and all that.

Strauss : What is your favorite TV Show?

Byrd : I got more than one. I love Martin, Fresh Prince [of Bel-Air], and I love the show, The Game.

Strauss : What’s your favorite movie of all time?

Byrd : I don’t really have a favorite movie of all-time. I could watch action movies, or scary movies. I love all scary movies though.

Strauss : Who is your favorite superhero? Why?

Byrd : Flash, because I ran just like that in high school and that’s what people ended up calling me. My parents liked that.

Strauss : If you were to describe as an ice cream flavor, what would you be and why?

Byrd : That’s an interesting question right there. I never thought about it, I guess. Let’s see… I would say Rocky Road because that’s the kind of road I am on right now, like the road was smooth at first, and now I’m at the rocky part of the road. Or, I could say, Strawberry, I’m not sweet, but I’m nice, I’m nice at doing my job on the field.

Strauss : Thank you so much for answering questions.

Byrd : Thanks again for asking me. Follow me on twitter.


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