Byford helps Alabama to All-Star Classic win
Nick Johnston, Hartselle Enquirer
MOBILE – Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Florida, Notre Dame, and, of course, Nebraska.
Athletes were in abundance, many bound for major NCAA I Colleges, last Saturday night at the Alabama/Mississippi All-Star Classic, and Hartselle's own Brett Byford was right in the thick of it.
He helped anchor an injury-ridden offensive line, as the Alabama stars won 24-16.
"I had a great week," Byford, who will be leaving for The University of Nebraska in the coming weeks, said. "I met a lot of people and made a lot of friends. I got better at football, too. I mean, this started helping me prepare for college."
Florida-bound Chad Jackson caught three touchdown passes, two from Jamarcus Russell and another from Kelcey Luck, heading to LSU and Auburn, respectively, and named MVP.
According to Byford, future stars took the field at Ladd-Peebles Stadium Saturday night.
"You step it up a lot when you play against players like this," he said. "They are way better than I have ever seen."
See BYFORD, B-4
Byford said he also learned a key aspect of playing on the offensive line.
"I got a lot better at pass blocking," he said. Laughing, he added, "I didn't have to do much of that at Hartselle."
Mississippi struck first, as back-up quarterback Keem Lofton plunged in from one-yard out.
The PAT failed, and Alabama took a 7-6 lead on a connection from Russell to Jackson.
Alabama added a field goal, but Mississippi responded just before halftime, as Lofton connected with Southern Miss-bound Chris Johnson.
Russell hit Jackson with an 18-yard touchdown pass late in the third quarter, and added what proved to be the game-winning score with 7:46 remaining in the game. Luke connected with Jackson at the goal line, and Jackson walked into the end zone.
For Byford, he said it's time to begin summer vacation.
"I was down in Mobile the day after graduation getting ready for practice," he said. "I may wait a week to leave for Nebraska. I'm going to call out there and see if that's o.k."