Jun. 12, 2012; Tempe, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver (11) Larry Fitzgerald during minicamp at the Cardinals practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
The Arizona Cardinals have had their fair share of success with undrafted free agents and late round draft picks over the years. Whether it is LaRod Stephens-Howling, Steve Breaston, Tim HIghtower, or any other of the number of players that have made the roster, all of them have contributed in some way or another.
So when reports come out of minicamp hyping up one of the team's newest undrafted rookies, fans tend to get pretty excited. This year is no exception. LaRon Byrd, an undrafted wide receiver out of the University of Miami, has certainly turned some heads according to the Arizona Republic's Bob McManaman.
And it's a good thing the Cards still have Larry Fitzgerald, otherwise Byrd may be on another roster right now.
According to Byrd, one of the main reasons he decided to sign with the Cardinals was because he idolized Larry Fitzgerald so much while playing high school football and has had dreams of playing alongside of him. Per McManaman:
"The real reason why I chose Arizona is actually because I idolized Larry Fitzgerald when I was in high school," said Byrd.
The odd thing is, he actually plays a lot like Fitz. He has a similar body type, standing in at 6'4" and 220 pounds. Also, his ability to go up and catch the ball --much like Fitzgerald does-- warranted him the name, "Little Fitzgerald" back in his hometown in Louisiana.
Byrd told McManaman that although he idols Fitzgerald so much, he still hasn't had the guts to tell him of his admiration:
"I didn't want to sound like a groupie or come off like one of those wild, creepy fans. It's been on my mind to tell him, though. One day after it's all said and done, either after this season or, hey, after we win a Super Bowl, I'll tell him," Byrd said.
McManaman also reports that Fitzgerald has been far from shy in helping out his young protege. Byrd is constantly texting Fitzgerald about certain plays, procedures and other things, knowing fully well that Fitz knows what he's doing. That's one of the greatest qualities about having Fitzgerald on your football team.
Will Byrd make the final 53-man roster or get an invite to the practice squad? It's a bit early to tell. But at least he is modeling himself after the right role model.