LOGAN, Utah – Utah State cornerback Quinton Byrd has signed a free agent contract with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Byrd becomes the 11th Utah State football player from the 2013 Mountain West Conference Mountain Division and San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl championship team to move on to the NFL as safety Maurice Alexander was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the fourth round (110th pick) and cornerback Nevin Lawson was also drafted in the fourth round (133rd pick) by the Detroit Lions. Players who signed free agent contracts include center Tyler Larsen (Miami Dolphins), tight end D.J. Tialavea (Jacksonville Jaguars), nose guard AJ Pataiali’i (Baltimore Ravens), linebacker Jake Doughty (Green Bay Packers), cornerback Tay Glover-Wright (Atlanta Falcons) and running back Joey DeMartino (Kansas City Chiefs), while offensive tackle Eric Schultz (Seattle Seahawks) and wide receiver Travis Van Leeuwen (Green Bay Packers) were both invited to rookie mini-camps.
Byrd, a 5-10, 181-pounder from Miami, Fla. (Miramar HS) played in all 14 games with 11 starts during his senior season and finished the year with 43 total tackles (25-solo, 18-assist), which ranked ninth on the team and third among defensive backs, to go along with 2.0 tackles for loss, nine pass breakups and one interception.
During his senior season, Byrd recorded a career-high nine tackles at Utah, had eight tackles at No. 24 Fresno State in the inaugural Mountain West Championship game and added six stops against Boise State, which included a career-high 1.5 tackles for loss. He also recorded a career-high three pass breakups against Hawai’i, while his lone interception during the season was against BYU. Byrd also added two pass breakups against No. 24 Northern Illinois in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl.
Byrd finished his Utah State career playing in 52 games with 13 career starts and recorded 97 total tackles (64-solo, 33-assist), which included 4.0 tackles for loss and one sack. He also had 13 career pass breakups.
Utah State concluded the 2013 season with a 21-14 win against 24th-ranked Northern Illinois in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl to finish the year with a 9-5 record and tie the 1960 and 1961 teams for the second-most wins in school history. With its win against Northern Illinois, Utah State posted back-to-back bowl wins for the first time in school history as it played in its third-straight bowl game, also a first at USU.
Utah State, who finished the 2013 season by winning six of its final seven games, also set the school record for conference wins as it posted a 7-1 league mark in its first season in the Mountain West to win the Mountain Division of the conference and advance to the inaugural Mountain West Championship game.
Utah State ended the year ranking tied for 37th nationally in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ polls with two votes each, marking the second time in as many years that USU has concluded the season ranked among the top teams in the nation as the 2012 team was ranked 16th in the final AP poll, 17th in the final coaches’ poll and 22nd in the final Bowl Championship Series (BCS) standings.
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