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Cal Football

Bears Pick up Another Portal Transfer Addition in OSU TE Byrne

January 5, 2023

On day one of the final spring entry portal recruiting period, the Bears added a new portal transfer commit in Oregon State redshirt soph tight end J.T. Byrne.

The 6-5/250 former 3 star Carmel High School (Carmel, CA) tight end was named All-State as a senior before committing to the Beavers and redshirting in 2021. He played in 9 games as a redshirt frosh in 2022, adding no stats, playing mainly as a powerful inline blocking tight end.

“I’m super excited to come back to the bay area, with a great staff,” said Byrne. “It’s just a great environment. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Byrne will certainly be utilized in the running game as an inline tight but he also has the athleticism to be used in the passing game, as well.

In his last full season of prep ball, Byrne had 48 catches for 636 yards and six touchdowns along with 31 carries for 125 yards and six TDs on the ground. He also added 6 TD passes playing quarterback. On defense at defensive end linebacker, Byrne added 7.5 sacks and four forced fumbles.

“It was a really cool experience (getting to play so many positions in high school) because my pops  was a quarterback at the University of Notre Dame so I always grew up wanting to throw the rock. And we had a guy in high school who was a couple years in so I was always kind of that special package guy where it was like, ‘Is he running it? Is he throwing it?’ Then later in my high school career, I just started embracing the tight end role and that’s where my niche is but at the same time, I had a blast doing all that other fun stuff, too.” 

Not only did Byrnes father play at Notre Dame but his uncles played at Oregon and Navy, as well, so the football pedigree is strong in the Byrne family.

“Having those three guys in my corner and getting their perspective is just awesome,” noted Byrne. “I’m just grateful I’ve also been able to gain a couple years of (collegiate) perspective myself. 

“Obviously it’s a whole new journey. Sometimes that portal can be interpreted as having to do with the staff or other players but I literally have zero issues with the staff or players at Oregon State. I couldn’t say enough good stuff about Corvallis and the area. But sometimes you have to take a chance on yourself and go and put all the chips in and go all in and entering the portal was kind of that thing for me.

“I just look forward to getting to know the coaches even better. I can’t wait to sit down with them, get my hands on the playbook and do whatever I can to help build this office and just try and make other guys’ jobs easier, whether it’s with communication, working with receivers, helping QBs out and being a good receiver for them, helping the running backs in the run game, I’m just grateful to be with a staff that seems extremely honed in on what they want to do and whatever they need from me, I just want to be a part of it. 

“At Oregon State, it was always a run-first offense so that mentality, I’ve learned for the last two years and it’s been an awesome mentality to learn. But with that being said, I also like getting the ball and being a physical route runner and being physical after the catch and being a reliable target are things I’ve emphasized my whole life so I’d like to bring that presence to Cal and build trust with the quarterbacks and do whatever I can to help us march the ball down the field.”

The Bears will look to add several new portal additions before the spring semester begins January 17, including 1-2 QBs and as many as 2-3 offensive linemen, a wide receiver and an edge rusher along with potentially other positions.

Byrne will have 3 seasons of eligibility and will enroll for spring semester and participate in spring ball at Cal.

Discussion from...

Bears Pick up Another Portal Transfer Addition in OSU TE Byrne

12,719 Views | 3 Replies | Last: 1 yr ago by heartofthebear
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Great get. Let's keep it going!
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Welcome to the Cal family J.T.! You are really going to like playing in Cal's opened up offense in 2023.
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I hope Cal lands some IDL, even if they aren't looking for them. You can never have enough of those because they tend to get injured. Look at the 49ers who continuously stock up on those but also continuously have injuries. Where would they be if they didn't stock up? Cal has continuously had problems keeping IDL healthy and/or recruiting enough depth.

This has actually been a more chronic problem at Cal and in the pac-12 conference as a whole than the OL problem is currently.
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