August 2, 2006

Byrd confident he'll emerge as starting RT

A big question entering this fall is who will emerge at right tackle.

Tyrone Byrd gets the first shot at the starting job -- he begins as the first-teamer there.

"I'm very confident I'll be the starter," Byrd said. "With the defensive ends, the people I go up against, the people around me, I'm very confident. In high school when I moved to right tackle, the right tackle before me was a big name. When he left, everybody was like, `Man, I hope Tyrone can take over.' So I'm used to people having a lot of doubts about me when I first move into a position. I wind up surprising them. It doesn't bother me anymore."

Byrd was the starter at center coming out of last spring before faltering in the fall. He also played some guard and spent the year as a backup.

He hopes right tackle is the answer.

"I prefer tackle," Byrd said. "When I was a tackle (when he first arrived at UM), I thought center was so easy. But once I moved there I saw it was a whole different beast. I've been moved around -- the coaches feel comfortable about putting me almost anywhere because of my abilities. It's whatever we need at the time, because I just want to win."

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