The 4 star offensive tackle from St. Ignatius high school in Cleveland, Ohio has offers from two schools, Ohio State and Notre Dame. Byrne wants to make his decision within the next couple of weeks. He is only a junior and will be a part of the 2014 recruiting class. Notre Dame already has 3 commitments for 2014, which includes three 4 star recruits.
At 6’4’’ 275 pounds this recruit is right where he needs to be this point in time in his career. Byrne is an above average pass blocker and an average run blocker needing help on footwork. He is quick and gets out his stance well, but doesn’t stay low. The one thing he does really well is using his hands when pass blocking. When pass blocking a lineman is to punch with his hands and recoil to repeat the process, while moving with the defender and keeping your head up. He has a whole year to improve and I think he will be just fine.
Adding strength is what every offensive lineman needs coming into college. People wonder why they don’t see many offensive linemen start as freshmen, it’s simple they aren’t big enough yet. Look at Notre Dame’s current offensive line; no one is less than 300 pounds. These guys weighing that much and being able to move shows that one it is muscle weight they put on and two they are all terrific athletes. Since Byrne has 1 year left in high school I’m sure he will put on more muscle weight just by training with his team in the offseason. Linemen at the high school level can get away without using proper technique all the time, which can create bad habits going forward. Jimmy’s problem is that he doesn’t stay low and he is often standing straight up when blocking. When he comes out of his stance he takes decent steps, but doesn’t keep his knees bent or keep his feet moving. Now granted I don’t know his high schools blocking scheme, but when the end crashes down hard to the guard he shouldn’t turn his shoulder and fully commit to the end, because it is usually a stunt and there will either be a linebacker or defensive tackle coming to the outside. Byrne could have taken an extra step inside to defer the end from getting pressure and if there was no stunt then stay with him. He doesn’t sustain his blocks for very long and needs a lot of work on his footwork. The kick slides on pass protection aren’t there and his feet get too close together or too far apart too often. Now he is only a junior in high school and I think he would fix all of these problems with technique by college.
Overall, an average recruit that needs a lot of work and in my opinion is only a 3 star recruit. He has the size and physical ability to be a 4 star recruit, but I don’t think he is there yet.