Shadrick Byrd's happenstance relationship with Derrick Foster led him to Iowa

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Photo courtesy of Shadrick Byrd.

By Tyler Devine

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Up until November, it appeared that Georgia native Tyler Goodson would be the only running back in the Iowa football team's 2019 recruiting class.

But somewhere along the line, the circumstances changed and three-star running back Shadrick Byrd was added to the mix.

Byrd, a native of Alabaster, Ala., made things official by signing his national letter of intent with Iowa on Wednesday.

“It feels great for sure,” Byrd said. “I’m happy the whole thing is over but I’m even happier to be a part of the family.

“(It was) just the home feeling when I was on the trip. Seeing my mom and aunt fall in love with it helped out even more. Talking with (running backs) coach (Derrick) Foster and (head) coach (Kirk) Ferentz one on one told me this is where I needed to be.”

Byrd’s road to Iowa started with Derrick Foster’s previous job as the running backs coach and run game coordinator at Samford.

The 5-foot-10, 210-pound Byrd attended a camp at Samford and began to build a relationship with Foster that carried over when Foster came to Iowa in 2018.

Foster is also an Alabama native, so he is familiar with the recruiting landscape in his home state.

“I’ve known coach Foster for a while before he got the Iowa job,” Byrd said. “We always kept in touch but at the time (Iowa was) taking one back, which my teammate Tyler Goodson was committed and had the spot. They decided to take another back in November and we started talking again and the rest is history.

Byrd’s bond with Foster blossomed in, of all places, a barbershop where the two realized that they lived in the same town.

“We actually lived in the same city at the time too but I didn’t know that until I saw him in the barbershop a couple of days after the camp,” Byrd said. “Then talking with him we have the same background growing up so we can relate with a lot of things.”

Byrd now looks forward to being taught and mentored by his new position coach that he has so much in common with.

“It means a lot having somebody that is basically the older version of me coaching me and teaching me how to become a man,” Byrd said. “He’s a great guy so I’m looking forward to it.”