Made move over to the defensive side of the ball for new coaching staff prior to the start of spring drills after two seasons as a reserve tight end, but most likely will be relocated back to the offense during preseason camp ... Will also vie for continued play on various special teams squads ... Remains a highly-touted athlete who has benefitted from initial three years in strength and conditioning program, adding nearly 35 pounds to signing day weight ... Suffered injuries in previous spring practice periods (hip in 2008, concussion in 2009) which might have slowed additional development, but was able to stay relatively healthy at new position ... Booked a sack (-8 yards) in first scrimmage April 3 before adding two tackles and another quarterback drop (-4 yards) during the Purple-Gold Game April 17.
2009: Played in 13 of 14 games as a sophomore ... Was a special teams contributor in all contests, while experiencing action in tight end/fullback formations as a reserve in the last nine games - including post-season matchups against Houston (C-USA Championship Game) and Arkansas (AutoZone Liberty Bowl) ... Did not compile any reception statistics or tally special teams tackles ... Although not officially recognized (fair catch), did record a kickoff return at SMU (Oct. 10) ... Did not play vs. UCF Sept. 26 (coaches decision).
2008: A tight end who experienced his first collegiate action as a member of the special teams unit during redshirt freshman campaign ... Played in the last six consecutive games - Marshall, Southern Miss, UAB, UTEP, Tulsa and against Kentucky in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl ... Did not record any receiving statistics and was not credited with any tackles in initial active year.
2007: Redshirted during initial season in ECU program ... Officially signed with the Pirates in February.
High School: A 2006 Shrine Bowl Game invitee ... A four-year letterman and team captain for a program which reeled off three consecutive state championships (2004, 2005 and 2006) and posted a combined 45-3 record ... Used primarily as a key blocker in the Bulldogs' "I" offensive scheme that produced one of the top rushing performances in the state but still made 23 catches for 204 yards and five touchdowns as a senior ... Helped THS to its second-straight 16-0 slate as a senior, capping his career with a 13-7 victory over James Kenan in the 1-AA State Championship Game at Chapel Hill ... In all, closed prep career with a 37-game winning streak (16-0 as a junior, 13-3 as a sophomore) ... Part of a Bulldogs' offense that outscored its opponents 632-82 (39.5 ppg to 5.1 ppg) ... Recorded 11 receptions for 136 yards and a trio of scores as a junior after grabbing six balls for 45 yards and a score as a sophomore in 2004 ... Earned All-Yadkin Valley Conference honors ... Coach was Benjie Brown ... Earned additional varsity letters in basketball (two) and track (one) ... Timed at 4.8 in the 40-yard dash while vertical ability was measured at 29.0" ... Member of the "A&B" Honor Roll and recipient of the school's "Perfect Attendance, Top Dog, Character Education, Computer Application and History" Awards.
Personal: Full name is Michael Austin Byrd ... Born December 27, 1988 at Thomasville, N.C. ... Son of Janice Tate and Richard Diggs ... A family community services major.