The true freshman could climb up the depth chart as the Hawkeyes search for a gamebreaking running back.
Shadrick Byrd – Freshman
Alabaster, AL (Thompson)
5’10”, 212 lbs
2019 Projection: Reserve running back
Shadrick Byrd is one of two true freshman running backs on the scholarship, though Byrd arrived in Iowa City this past winter after graduating from high school early. It was a decision he turned around super quickly, as he didn’t commit until mid-December. He committed to Iowa over a number of ACC offers.
In the linked article to HawkeyeNation, he portrays the classic Hawk ethic: “My first-year goal at Iowa is to work. I’m not coming in looking for easy playing time. I’m not coming in trying to be a superstar. Work comes first, so whatever my professors need out of me as a student comes first. (Strength) coach (Chris) Doyle, anything he needs out of me in the weight room will come next. Whatever coach Foster needs me to do as a back I will make sure I do. So on and so forth, contribute to wherever the team needs me to contribute at.”
He doesn’t necessarily display consistent breakaway speed, he does show shiftiness and a patience out of the backfield. He’s also a capable passer with a willingness to get his nose dirty:
Freshmen running backs have made an impact at Iowa before but we’d probably have to see a reappearance of He Who Must Not Be Named for Byrd to find his way into Iowa’s backfield. Because of that, he’s likely looking at a redshirt for 2019 before competing for carries in 2020 or 2021 after Iowa’s troika of juniors depart.
In the meantime, here’s Byrd learning how to block from the head man himself: