Player Profile

April 17th, 2020

FBU & Tennessee Volunteer Alum, Tyler Byrd, Talks 2020 NFL Draft, How To Improve & More

Tyler Byrd is a busy man. He just finished up another pre-draft morning workout in his hometown of Naples, FL and is already thinking about the next one later tonight. Tyler recently finished up at the University of Tennessee and is getting ready for next week’s NFL Draft. We had the chance to speak with Tyler for this month’s FBU Five Newsletter and he provided us great insight on a variety of topics – preparation, development, technique and more!

  1. How are you feeling leading up to the NFL Draft next week?
    • I feel good. I’ve been working hard with my trainer (Jacksyon Bazille) every day and am just doing what I need to do in order to stay ready. (I) Just want to get my foot in the door and make an impact. I feel like I have enough film that will somebody will notice me and take a chance.
  2. So you train with Jacksyon, how did you guys meet and get started?
    • I’ve known Jacksyon my whole life basically. I ran track with his younger sister and it just kind of took off from there. He’s been great to me. The amount of time and effort he puts in with me has helped me get to where I am today.
  3. How has your preparation changed due to everything going on with Covid-19?
    • To be honest, not a lot. I can still get to a field, or get outside, and get to work. The hardest piece has been not being able to train with other guys, but my mindset right now has been on bettering myself. Working on my speed, strength, conditioning, route-running. You don’t need a gym or a facility to work on those things. You just need the right mindset. And that’s what I have.
  4. With that being said, what specifically are your focusing on from a training perspective?
    • Speed. Speed. Speed. I’m really honing in on my speed training right now. I feel like I spent a lot of time in the weight room in college, which helped me get my strength up, but now I’m really locked in on improving my speed even more.
  5. What are some ways that you’re working on your speed?
    • Recently, I’ve been going on a treadmill with no motor. To make it go, you have to make it go. It really helps you get in different gears when you’re on it. I’ll add weight resistance, or take off resistance, to mix it up an keep my body guessing. This is actually something that Anquan Boldin used and I can already tell a difference. The results have been night and day.
  6. You said you spent a lot of time in the weight room in college. Tell us a little bit about that.
    • That was a huge thing at Tennessee. It was a key focus of the coaching staff for the team to get stronger and tougher, so I attacked it. I wanted to do whatever I could in the weight room to improve myself and hopefully continue to get more reps on the field. The weight room is so important and I’m not even talking about the strength part of it. I’m talking about the discipline, the self-motivation, the hunger to do something in there every single day. If you can’t be disciplined and motivated to improve yourself in the weight room, then how can coaches trust you on the field, ya know? I’d definitely encourage all the young guys to attack the weight room like they attack their field work. They feed each other.
  7. Great advice for the young guys who may be reading this and getting their start. What about your start and your journey? How did football become such a piece of your life?
    • Well I actually got started with a local team here (Naples Gators) and that’s how I got started. I met Steve Quinn and he really looked out for me. I was able to go to some FBU Camps and got better at my craft. Then I was invited to the Youth All-American Bowl in 7th and 8th grade and that really propelled me. It gave me a new level of confidence. Then after that, I kept going to FBU Camps. Those are what got me ready for high school ball. It was the recognition and work that I needed. I think that’s the difference with FBU. It’s not about the rankings and profiles and all that. The kids who say they are worried about that have it backwards. It’s about getting better. Working on your craft and becoming the best player you can be. Being technically sound. Knowing the mental side of the game. All the stuff FBU does at their camps. If you do that, then the rankings and stars and all that will come.
  8. Let’s get back to some of the things you’re working on right now. What are you working at on the field?
    • Focus right now is on the breaks. Getting in and out of my break is the most important thing. Not everyone is going to just fly by people like Tyreek Hill. If a DB can match you, they will win. So I’m trying to perfect “In and Out” and mastering the “cross-over” step to create additional separation. For me, training is about repetition. Just keep doing it. Over and over and over. Then, when you’ve mastered it, add another tool.
  9. What would you say to a player who might be struggling to connect with a coach and thinks that’s why he isn’t getting playing time?
    • Respect. For me, football is about respect. If you respect your coaches, they will respect you. And I’m not talking about that, “yes sir, no sir” respect, I’m talking about true respect. Do you respect yourself and your coaches enough to give it 100% at every practice? Or film session? Or lifting? That’s what respect is in football. How committed you are. Now, if that’s not working. Then just keep grinding and take the coaching. The great thing about football coaches is that they all have something valuable to teach. So you may not get along with a coach, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn from him. So just be open to instruction and ready to learn.
  10. Truly appreciate your time today Tyler. If you could leave the readers, mainly our young student-athletes, with one piece of advice what would it be?
    • Work on your craft. And I’m not talking about “oh I went here and did this, or I went there and did that”, I’m talking about working your craft. Go outside. Grab some cones. And work your craft by yourself. This applies to all levels – but especially the middle schoolers. Once you get to high school and college you have less time where you can work on your craft individually – you just have more team workouts and meetings and stuff. And one other thing, never never never stop running track. If they don’t want you to run track in high school or in college, then they don’t have your best interest in mind. Track will help you in so many ways as a football player and I think all players who are serious about football should be running track.

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