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3-Star Safety Tawfiq Byard Puts West Virginia in Top 5

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Three-star 2023 safety Tawfiq Byard (6-foot-1, 195-pounds) has listed West Virginia in his top five on Twitter. West Virginia is listed alongside Connecticut, Louisville, Ole Miss and USF. Byard will be announcing his decision this upcoming Sunday.

Byard currently plays at DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Maryland. Both On3 and 247Sports are strongly predicting Byard to commit to USF. Now, predictions can be wrong, in fact another player who recently listed West Virginia in his top five was predicted to go to Tennessee or Ole Miss, two schools that didn’t even crack his top five.

Still though, with how certain the two major outlets seem to be when it comes to Byard choosing USF, that is a pretty good indication that he will end up choosing that school.

Byard is a three-star on Rivals and On3, but not rated on 247Sports. On3 has him as the No. 94 safety in the class of 2023 and the No. 20 player from the state of Maryland. Rivals has him ranked as the No. 19 player from the state of Maryland, but unranked for safeties.

Byard choose these five schools over 13 others. The other schools to offer him were Alabama State, Boston College, Buffalo, Campbell, Delaware, Howard, Kent State, Liberty, Massachusetts, Middle Tennessee State, Monmouth, Ohio and Toledo.

If he were to commit, he’d become the 11th recruit for West Virginia in their class of 2023 which includes consensus four-star wide receiver Rodney Gallagher and three-stars running back Jordan Louie, offensive lineman Cole Young, defensive lineman Eamon Smalls, defensive back Josiah Jackson, linebacker James Heard Jr., linebacker Josiah Trotter, running back Jaheim White and defensive lineman Cameron Jackson. Trotter and Heard are listed as four stars on Rivals.

West Virginia’s class is currently ranked No. 17 on Rivals. A big reason for the current high ranking is due to the quantity of recruits.

As of this writing, only 15 programs have more recruits committed at this stage, with nine of them being ranked higher than West Virginia. Of the 22 programs that have at least 10 commits, only three (Army, Western Michigan, SMU) find themselves outside of the top 26 recruiting classes according to Rivals’ rankings.

Common college football recruiting powerhouses such as Alabama, LSU, Michigan and Texas are rated lower for having less total recruits and despite having more four and five star recruits.

Still though, the high ranking shows the depth of the class that West Virginia is bringing in. Of the 10 players West Virginia has committed, each has at least a three-star rating to at least one of the three major recruiting services. Three (Gallagher, Heard, Trotter) have a four-star on a service.

While the lack of consensus four and five stars in comparison to some of the nation’s premier programs will likely push West Virginia out of the top 25 prior to signing day, the amount of high-floor guys being brought in by Brown should be viewed as nothing but a positive for the future of the program.

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