Nov 16, 2013; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies wide receiver Willie Byrn (82) catches a touchdown pass to tie the score in the fourth quarter as Maryland Terrapins defensive back Sean Davis (21) defends. The Terapins defeated the Hokies 27-24 in overtime at Lane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
We continue our countdown of the top 10 Virginia Tech football players with our number 9 player, senior wide receiver Willie Byrn.
Byrn was one of the biggest surprises last season as he went from being a guy who only had 38 total snaps in his career before last season to someone that is now one of the top players for Virginia Tech. Byrn had a very productive season in 2013 with 51 receptions, 660 receiving yards, and 2 touchdowns in what was definitely his breakout season.
Many have compared Willie Byrn to Wes Welker and while Byrn is definitely not as good as Welker, both players have a very similar style. Both are high volume reception receivers that are under 6 feet tall and have great speed to make them very dangerous weapons in the passing game, especially on short passes.
Byrn seemed to be the guy that Logan Thomas could dump the ball off to if he needed to and can definitely be that guy in the slot in 2014 for the Hokies. Byrn is probably one of the ACC’s most underrated wide receivers and his speed along with having great hands makes him a very productive receiver out of the slot.
Willie Byrn might not have the same upside as many other wide receivers but Byrn has proven to be a consistent, reliable wide receiver that a quarterback can trust. Byrn also has made some big catches in late game situations and is a guy that Scot Loeffler will make sure is on the field when the game is on the line.
This spring, Willie Byrn proved that he was not a one-year fluke and that he will once again be ready to do some damage this fall for the Hokies. Byrn is someone that the Hokies can use on screens and short passes on top of occasionally using him on the outside to try to go over the top of the secondary and make a big play happen.
Another valuable thing with Byrn is the fact that he is one of the veteran leaders of a Virginia Tech team that is very capable of winning the ACC Coastal. Byrn was the offensive representative for the Hokies at the 2014 ACC Kickoff and is the type of hard-working leader that can be very valuable in the locker room.
Willie Byrn has gone from just another walk-on to being one of the Hokies’ top 10 players in what is an impressive rise.