Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders

Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders

Player News

Date:

Titans selected Middle Tennessee State S Kevin Byard with the No. 64 overall pick of the 2016 NFL draft.

Byard (5'11/216) made 46 starts for the Blue Raiders, leaving school as Middle Tennessee's all-time leader in interceptions (19), interception-return yards (377), and pick-sixes (4). Although Byard flashed center-field prowess at January's Senior Bowl, he was surprisingly snubbed for a Combine invite. Long armed (33 1/2") with obvious ball-hawking potential, Byard has an outside chance to develop into a starting free safety in a few years.
Apr 29 - 9:43 PM

Middle Tennessee State S Kevin Byard is visiting the Ravens this week, according to Aaron Wilson.

Byard was not invited to the NFL Combine, but he offers plenty of skills that NFL teams look for. On top of the Ravens visit, Byard is also traveling to the Jaguars, Buccaneers, Panthers and Dolphins, which adds on to Byard's growing list of travel plans. Byard is at his best moving forward, closing at receivers and ball carriers near the line of scrimmage.
Apr 18 - 9:53 AM

Middle Tennessee State S Kevin Byard will visit the Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans Saints and Cincinnati Bengals.

He visited the Arizona Cardinals' team facilities on Monday and previously visited the Atlanta Falcons, Kansas City Chiefs and Green Bay Packers. Byard also worked out for the Carolina Panthers privately last week. The 5-foot-11, 216-pounder, a big Combine snub, ran the 40-yard dash in 4.46-4.51 seconds at his Pro Day event.
Apr 14 - 7:33 PM

CBS Sports draft analyst Dane Brugler believes that Middle Tennessee State S Kevin Byard is "in the conversation to be the highest drafted non-combine prospect in the 2016 class."

Wrote Brugler, "Byard has ball skills and instincts (school-record 19 career interceptions), and he impressed NFL scouts with his testing athleticism." Without the Combine invite, said athletic testing occurred during Byard's Pro Day. During his testing adventures, the 5-foot-11, 216-pounder clocked a 40-yard dash time under 4.50 seconds and impressed with a 38-inch vertical jump and a shifty short shuttle run of 4.20 seconds. This past week, he worked out privately with the Panthers on Tuesday, then visited the facilities of the Falcons, Chiefs and Packers over the three days that followed. In December, CBS Sports' Rob Rang referred to Byard as "a fluid athlete with excellent awareness to read the eyes of quarterbacks," while in February, both Pro Football Focus' Jordan Plocher and Brugler deemed him an undeserving snub from the NFL Scouting Combine.
Source: CBS Sports
Apr 9 - 5:42 PM

Middle Tennessee State S Kevin Byard will either work out for or visit four different organizations this week.

The NFL is doing its due diligence on Byard, considered one of the five biggest Combine snubs. The Panthers will work him out on Tuesday, the Falcons will host him for a visit on Wednesday, and then the Chiefs and Packers will do the same on Thursday and Friday, respectively. Byard posted 66 tackles, one TFL and four interceptions last season.
Apr 4 - 1:05 PM

Pro Football Focus' Jordan Plocher is shocked Middle Tennessee State S Kevin Byard wasn't invited to the NFL Scouting Combine.

Like most other prominent combine snubs, Byard is hurt by his size (5-foot-11, 217 pounds). "However, Byard appears capable of playing a true deep safety role in the NFL and those prospects have been hard to come by in the last few draft classes," Plocher wrote. "Byard looks comfortable playing on the third-level and showed during team drills in Mobile that he could play well against top competition. Byard played better in Mobile than some players at his position who did receive combine invites. From a scouting and evaluation standpoint it would have been very informative to watch a player like Byard — with experience and NFL safety potential — run through the position drills next to his peers." Byard logged 66 tackles, one TFL and four interceptions last year.
Feb 15 - 4:56 PM

CBS Sports draft analyst Dane Brugler sees Middle Tennessee State S Kevin Byard's omission from the NFL Scouting Combine as unjust.

Wrote Brugler, "[Byard] projects as more of a late round player, but certainly worthy of a spot on the combine roster." The CBS analyst believes he should have had his crack at the combine due to his stellar statistical production for the Blue Raiders over the course of his four years starting. This past season, the 5-foot-11, 217-pound draft-hopeful recorded 66 tackles (1.0 for loss) and four interceptions. He's picked off 19 passes in 48 games.
Source: CBS Sports
Feb 14 - 3:06 PM

Middle Tennessee hired Cal OC Tony Franklin to serve in the same capacity.

Just when it looked like the coaching carousel had slowed to a minimum whirl, Cal suddenly has a major hole to fill. According to ESPN's Kyle Bonagura, Franklin's move to Middle Tennessee is not the result of some sort of coaching rift in the Golden Bears' staff. Indeed, he and HC Sonny Dykes have worked together for the last six years in stints with Louisiana Tech and Cal. In a released statement, Dykes said, "I will miss him both as a colleague and a friend, but at this point in his career he has decided that this is the best move for him and his family. I respect and honor that wholeheartedly, and I wish both Tony and his family nothing but the best."
Source: ESPN.com
Jan 22 - 8:59 PM

Middle Tennessee freshman WR Richie James caught eight passes for 126 yards and two touchdowns in Thursday's 45-31 loss to Western Michigan in the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl.

James' 29-yard touchdown catch with 9:41 remaining in the contest knotted the proceedings at 31-all, but the Blue Raiders wouldn't score again. Loss aside, the 5-foot-9, 170-pound freshman's done superb work for the season as a whole, having caught 108 passes for 1,346 yards and eight touchdowns. We'll have to wait until next fall to see what he does for encore.
Thu, Dec 24, 2015 06:00:00 PM

Middle Tennessee redshirt freshman QB Brent Stockstill completed 26-of-39 passes for 327 yards, three touchdowns and an interception in Thursday's 45-31 loss to Western Michigan in the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl.

Stockstill finished with nice numbers, firing two of his three touchdown passes in the second half, but a pair of fourth-quarter scores by Western Michigan RB Jamauri Bogan ultimately sealed the Blue Raiders' fate. Including bowl action, Stockstill threw for 300 or more yards in five of his last six contests. The 6-foot, 192-pound redshirt freshman posted 4,005 passing yards and a 30/9 TD/INT ratio for the 2015 campaign.
Thu, Dec 24, 2015 04:57:00 PM

Per CBS Sports draft analyst Rob Rang, Middle Tennessee State senior S Kevin Byard is "a fluid athlete with excellent awareness to read the eyes of quarterbacks and set up his blocks on returns."

Rang wrote that Byard "isn't the biggest or fastest safety," but has proven productive thanks to the aforementioned awareness and fluidity. The 5-foot-11, 217-pound senior and the rest of his Blue Raider buddies will have themselves a test in Thursday's Bahamas Bowl, as Western Michigan has a pair of insanely productive wideouts in Daniel Braverman and Corey Davis. Byard is set to head to the Senior Bowl after that.
Source: CBS Sports
Mon, Dec 21, 2015 09:45:00 PM

According to ESPN, Middle Tennessee and Western Michigan will play in the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl.

Middle Tennessee had already accepted the bowl bid. Now, the other side of the match-up is ready to be set, as Western Michigan will reportedly receive a bid later this week. Both teams finished out with 7-5 records during the 2015 campaign. There will be 41 bowls over the next month-plus.
Source: ESPN.com
Mon, Nov 30, 2015 08:25:00 PM

Middle Tennessee State senior S Kevin Byard will attend the Senior Bowl.

The 5-foot-11, 226-pounder lacks ideal height for the position but has a nose for the ball and is quick. An AFC North scout said in September that Byard "looks like a corner out there with his cover skills." NFLDraftScout.com pegs Byard as a Day 3 draft pick.
Source: Senior Bowl
Sun, Nov 29, 2015 11:00:00 AM

Middle Tennessee redshirt freshman QB Brent Stockstill completed 27-of-38 passes for 322 yards, three touchdowns and an interception in Saturday's 41-7 win over North Texas.

Stockstill threw all three of his touchdown passes in the first half as the Blue Raiders built themselves a 31-7 lead heading into the locker room. This was his sixth game with at least three touchdown passes. The 6-foot, 192-pound redshirt freshman's thrown for 3,421 yards with a 26/8 TD/INT ratio in helping Middle Tennessee to a 6-5 record. With the win, the team's eligible for a bowl.
Sat, Nov 21, 2015 05:11:00 PM

Middle Tennessee redshirt freshman QB Brent Stockstill completed 28-of-43 passes for 296 yards, three touchdowns and an interception in Saturday's 58-28 loss to Western Kentucky.

The overall numbers look fine, but this was a prime example of accumulated statistics that had little effect on the actual outcome. Stockstill didn't throw his first touchdown until the second quarter when the Blue Raiders were already down 35-7. While the team is just 2-4 this season, the 6-foot, 192-pound Stockstill has thrown for 1,803 yards with a 16/3 TD/INT ratio.
Sat, Oct 10, 2015 04:20:00 PM


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