Willie Byrn: A Pass Catching Machine


Nov 30, 2013; Charlottesville, VA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies wide receiver Willie Byrn (82) runs with the ball as Virginia Cavaliers safety Brandon Phelps (21) dives to make the tackle in the first quarter at Scott Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Before last season, Willie Byrn was just another walk-on for the Hokies that no one really knew too much about since Byrn had rarely touched the field in his first two years in Blacksburg. Byrn had absolutely no expectations on him as most of the focus for Virginia Tech fans at wide receiver was at the lack of talent after D.J. Coles. Of course, Coles would end up struggling but multiple players proved that Virginia Tech might now have its best receiving group in a while. One of those receivers was Willie Byrn.

Willie Byrn did not have a single catch in the season opener against Alabama but Byrn got his chance to play against Western Carolina and had 4 catches for 58 receiving yards. Byrn’s reliability became well-known in his performance the following week against East Carolina when Byrn had 7 catches for 63 receiving yards. Willie Byrn would not play as well against Marshall the next week but he had a late, big touchdown catch to help the Hokies avoid being upset.

Willie Byrn would continue to be a consistent target over the middle out of the slot as Byrn would end the season with 51 catches for 660 receiving yards and 2 receiving touchdowns. Willie Byrn was constantly a threat over the middle and seemed to be a guy that could be relied on a lot by Logan Thomas. Willie Byrn was a tough player that pushed for every yard he could possibly get and was a guy with the speed to get in some big holes.

This spring, Willie Byrn has continued to improved and while he is currently the Hokies’ number 3 receiver, there is an arguement that Byrn is one of the two best receivers for the Hokies. In the Spring Game, he was just as reliable as ever and showed off his speed on his spectacular one-handed catch in which he burnt the cornerback covering him. Willie Byrn is one of those tough players that does everything that he is supposed to which is something fans and coaches love to see.

The expectations for Willie Byrn are going to be higher this fall but the former walk-on has already exceeded his Virginia Tech career expectations. Now, Willie Byrn will look to have an even better senior season as he looks to prove that he has a future in the NFL with the hope of being drafted. Willie Byrn is going to be a productive player once again this fall and the next Hokies’ starting quarterback will be able to take advantage of Byrn and the other talented wide receivers.

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