San Diego State Breakout Player: Jordan Byrd

San Diego State Breakout Player: Jordan Byrd

Mountain West Football

San Diego State Breakout Player: Jordan Byrd

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San Diego State Breakout Player: Jordan Byrd


San Diego State return specialist Jordan Byrd will earn respect.


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2022 will be his year to shine as a returner.

As good as 2021 was for Jordan Byrd, he will be in line to have a better season in 2022. When it comes to return specialists, Byrd is one of the best in the entire country.

2022 will be Byrd’s fifth season with the program and it could turn out to be the one where he leaves his biggest mark on San Diego State. Byrd can do it all for the Aztecs and that is what he will do this upcoming season. Not only is Byrd a threat to score on almost every kick return or punt return, he is an important piece to San Diego State’s rushing attack.

In the offseason, Byrd was named the Preseason Mountain West Special Teams Player of the Year. Byrd earned this preseason accolade for his work over the last four seasons on special teams. This preseason award was fitting for Byrd as he was selected to the 2021 First-Team All-Mountain West as a kick returner. For the 2022 season, Byrd was named to the Paul Hornung Award Watch List for the nation’s most versatile player.

Byrd first caught the attention of the Mountain West as a freshman in 2018 and he has not slowed down since. In 2018, Byrd won the 2018 SDSU Co-Outstanding Freshman Award. He impressed his team as a kick returner and a punt returner with 152 return yards in 11 returns.

Byrd had to work his way into the backfield and he earned his keep. He followed his freshman season up with three rushing touchdowns and 355 rushing yards in 2019. Not only did Byrd start to step up as a running back, he made improvements on special teams. In 2019, Byrd had 15 kick returns for 319 yards and 12 punt returns for 93 yards.

In his junior season, Byrd returned one kickoff for a touchdown and had a combined total of 417 return yards on kick and punt returns. He was named the Mountain West Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance against Colorado State on Dec. 7, 2020. In addition to his success on special teams in 2020, Byrd had two rushing touchdowns and a rushing total of 225 yards.

The 2021 season was Byrd’s fourth season with the program and it was one to remember. As a running back, Byrd had 246 yard and three touchdowns. On kick returns, Byrd had 22 returns for 601 yards and one touchdown. As a punt returner, Byrd returned 27 punts for 193 yards. He was selected to the 2021 First-Team All-Mountain West as a kick returner. The season before, Byrd was a 2020 Second-Team All-Mountain West selection as a kick returner.

Byrd has the potential to be the most versatile player in the country. If he can score several rushing/receiving touchdowns and have a total of two return touchdowns, he could win the Paul Hornung Award in 2022.

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