Evan Byers, Bucknell Bison
2011 Patriot League Rookie of the Week
2011 Won Stuart M. Smith Award (Most Outstanding Newcomer)
2012 & 2013 Bison Gridiron Club Award winner (Team MVP)
2012 2nd Team All-Patriot
2013 1st Team All-Patriot
2013 Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week
-Back-to-back 100-tackle campaigns (no Bucknell player has ever had three straight)
-Only 42 tackles away from breaking Dorian Peterson’s Bucknell record of 304 set in 2006.
Byers is an instinctual linebacker who attacks the line of scrimmage and rarely misses tackles. He has put up two consecutive 100+ tackle seasons and has been named All-Patriot twice (2012 Second Team, 2013 First Team). This season, if Byers can record at least 42 tackles for the Bison he will surpass Bucknell’s career tackles leader, Dorian Peterson (304).
We were able to catch up with Byers as he prepares for his senior season for the Bucknell Bison from the Patriot League:
All-Out Blitz: Who has been your biggest influence during your football career?
Evan Byers: I have been extremely lucky to have numerous influences in my football career since I have started playing at the age of five. My coaches have been great at all levels from mini football all the way up through college. The biggest influence for me though would have to be my father and older brother. They have helped teach me from a young age to find something that you love and to work as hard as you can at it. Football-wise I love any short linebacker; Zach Thomas, London Fletcher, and Danny Trevathan. My favorite player of all-time though is Sean Taylor. How he approached and played the game I think about every single day.
AOB: Why did you choose to play your football at Bucknell University?
Byers: They welcomed me with open arms. Obviously it is everyone’s dream to play at a large school in front of a large crowd on national TV, but for me my story did not work out that way. I wanted to play FBS, but all of the schools were telling me I was too short. I thought about walking on but I wanted to go somewhere where I felt wanted and somewhere that knew what I could bring to the game. Coach Susan from the first time I talked to him made it known that he believed in my abilities and wanted me to come to Bucknell.
AOB: What is the strongest part of your game as a football player?
Byers: Instincts and desire. Two things that are hard to measure but can be seen when the game tape is put on.
AOB: So far what is your best college football moment, and why?
Byers: Well we haven’t won a championship yet but so far it has to be the Dartmouth win last year. Before the game we were 1-4 and we took an 8-hour bus ride up to the middle of nowhere New Hampshire. We were on a four-game losing streak. As a team we could have easily folded and just gave up on the season, but instead we rallied and won the game and went on to become 6-5. It turned our season around.
AOB: You led the league in tackles last season. What are your goals for this year?
Byers: My goal is to be the best linebacker in the country. If that is not someone’s goal then I’m not sure why they are playing the game.
AOB: What are your aspirations after college?
Byers: I always ask why not me? I want to play in NFL and be the best there as well. It’s been my goal since I was five years old. I am confident in my abilities versus anyone on Saturday or Sundays.
Byers and his Bucknell Bison will open the 2014 season with an August 30 match-up against VMI in front of the home crowd in Lewisburg, PA.
« Fantasy Football: Christian Addresses 10 Burning FF Questions Mini Camp Update: Early News From New York Giants Camp »