2009: The veteran, cerebral Byers--who is in the final year of working on his M.B.A.--will start for his third season at left offensive guard. He is also available to play center. He was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA because he missed 2005 and 2006 with injuries.
2008: Byers started for his second season at left offensive guard as a senior in 2008 and did a solid job. He also played a limited amount at center. He made the 2008 Phil Steele's All-American third team, Phil Steele's All-Pac-10 first team, All-Pac-10 second team, ESPN.com All-Bowl Team and USC's Chris Carlisle Courage Award. He missed part of 2008 fall camp while recovering from Rocky Mountain spotted fever, which he contracted during a summer visit to his Colorado home. He had hernia surgery prior to 2008 spring practice.
2007: Byers, a one-time starter who missed most of the previous 2 seasons with injuries, ably re-assumed his starting role in his 2007 junior season, with 12 starts at left offensive guard and also the Washington State game at center. He made the 2007 Phil Steele's All-Pac-10 third team.
2006: After missing the 2005 season with a hip injury, Byers appeared ready to re-assume his starting job at left offensive guard as a sophomore in 2006. After seeing action as a backup in the opener at Arkansas, he suffered a back sprain prior to the Nebraska game and was sidelined the rest of the season. Because of the early-season injury, he was allowed to redshirt. He missed some of 2006 spring drills while recuperating.
2005: Byers was set to see plenty of action on the offensive line as a sophomore in 2005 as a left guard, either as a starter or key backup. But he had arthroscopic surgery to remove torn cartilage in his right hip prior to 2005 spring practice and missed most of spring drills while recuperating, which forced him to redshirt in 2005.
2004: As a first-year freshman in 2004, Byers started 4 late-season games (Oregon State, Arizona, Notre Dame and UCLA) at left offensive guard for an injured John Drake and performed well. He served as a backup there and at center in USC's other 9 contests. He made the 2004 The Sporting News Freshman All-American second team and The Sporting News Freshman All-Pac-10 first team.
HIGH SCHOOL: Among his 2003 honors were Gatorade National Player of the Year, EA Sports National Player of the Year, Army of One Award (for effort on the field, class and community), Arena Football League Ironman of the Year (as nation's best two-way player), USA Today All-USA first team, Parade All-American MVP, Super Prep All-American, Prep Star All-American, EA Sports All-American, Insiders.com All-American, Super Prep Elite 50, Prep Star Top 100 Dream Team, Tom Lemming Top 100, Super Prep All-Midlands, Prep-Star All-Midlands, Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West first team, Orange County Register Fab 15 first team and Gatorade Colorado Player of the Year as a senior center and linebacker at Loveland (Colo.) High. He had 34 pancake blocks on offense in one game in 2003 and never allowed a sack in his career. On defense in 2003, he had 203 tackles, 56 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, 14 forced fumbles and 3 fumble recoveries (with a TD). Loveland won its second consecutive Class 4A state championship in 2003.
As a junior in 2002, he won All-State honorable mention, All-Area and All-Conference honors while posting 138 tackles, 29 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks on defense.
He also competed in basketball and track at Loveland.
PERSONAL: He has a B average (3.27 GPA) at USC. He received his bachelor's degree in business administration in the summer of 2007 and is working on his master's degree in business. He made the 2009 National Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society. He was 1 of 10 finalists for the 2008 Lowe's Senior Class Award (given to the top college football senior student-athlete) and was a quarterfinalist for the Draddy Trophy (nation's top senior football scholar-athlete). He made the 2007 Pac-10 All-Academic second team and 2008 Pac-10 All-Academic honorable mention.
JEFF BYERS ON: His drive: "I pride myself on being a fighter, on being a finisher and a competitor...I just feel like you can always get better. Never let yourself settle for where you are now. That motivates me."
Choosing USC: "I knew when I came here that USC has the most talented players in the country. I get my eyes opened every day."
WHAT OTHERS SAY: USC head coach Pete Carroll: "The attitude he brings, the work ethic he brings are perfect. He has very high expectations for himself. He won't settle for anything but the best. He's got all the ingredients to be a great player. We like his athleticism, his intensity and the intangibles that he brings. His downfield blocking sets the tone for the style of play that we like. He flies to his blocks better than anyone we've ever had, making use of his legs and his guts to finish plays. He creates such an attitude about the way we play."
Former USC All-American linebacker Rey Maualuga: "He's always saying, 'I'm not that big, I'm not that fast, I can't play at the next level.' Then you'll see a long run and he's the first offensive lineman down the field. He's got a motor. You can't coach that."
USC offensive line coach Pat Ruel: "Even when he does something wrong, I have a hard time getting on him because I don't have my MBA!"