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Former Pasco star Jamie Byrd is leaving TCU for a junior college.
The former all-North Suncoast defensive back is transferring to Iowa Western Community College, Byrd said Monday night in a Twitter message to the Times.
“New position coach came in last year,” Byrd said, “and me and him didn’t see eye to eye, and the defensive scheme did not fit me well.”
Byrd, a 5-foot-11, 190-pound safety redshirted as a freshman in 2011. He appeared in 12 games for the Horned Frogs this season and tallied only one tackle.
Byrd initially committed to Boise State as a three-star prospect but changed his mind after a visit to Fort Worth. In high school, he also had offers from Purdue, Iowa State and FAU, among others.
By going to a junior college, Byrd will not have to sit out a year. He said he hopes to get back to a Division I college after Iowa Western.
“I’m going to continue to work hard and try my best to (go to) a D-I that fits me,” Byrd said.
Byrd was one of the county’s top prospects for the 2011 recruiting class. He earned all-Sunshine Athletic Conference honors twice and was the conference’s defensive player of the year on a Pirates team that won four district titles and a region championship during his career. He racked up 73 tackles as a senior and had two interceptions in a 2010 playoff win over Lakewood.
He’ll be joining one of the top junior colleges in the country. The Reivers had 10 All-Americans and won the national title this fall.
While Byrd is leaving the Horned Frogs, TCU recently picked up a transfer from one of Byrd’s good friends and another ex-North Suncoast standout. Former Nature Coast star Ja’Juan Story transferred from Florida to TCU in August.