Byrd, Normand named to CoSIDA Academic All-District team

Byrd, Normand named to CoSIDA Academic All-District team

By Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Dontez Byrd and Elliott Normand have both been masters of their craft on the gridiron, but, on Wednesday, they were rewarded for their efforts in the classroom.

Byrd and Normand were selected to the College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-District team for District 3, which includes colleges and universities in North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia, and was voted on by CoSIDA members.

The duo will move on into consideration for the Academic All-American team.

This is the ninth time Tech has had two football selections since the program started in 1985 and brings the Golden Eagles' all-time selections in the roster to 34.

Both players are working on their postgraduate degrees on Tech, with Byrd recording a 3.5 grade point average in exercise science-fitness and wellness, while Normand has a 3.75 in mechanical engineering.

Including Byrd and Normand, the Ohio Valley Conference had six picks to the all-district teams, including Jeffrey Canady (Eastern Kentucky), Zach Shipley (Murray State), Ryan Rockensuess (Austin Peay) and Lane Clark (Tennessee State).

Byrd, a Louisville, Ky., native, set Tech's single-season receiving yardage record for the second straight season last week and has 976 yards and six touchdowns on 72 catches. Byrd can also set Tech's single-season receptions record for the second straight year with three catches in Saturday's season finale against UT Martin.

Normand, a native of Oak Ridge, Tenn., has 81 total tackles, 30 solo and 51 assisted, with one sack for seven yards and eight tackles-for-loss. He also has a forced fumble and an interception. He has 169 career tackles. Normand joins his brother, James, who earned Academic All-District honors in 2011 as a member of the Tech team.

The duo joins an illustrious group of Tech football players who have been selected to the list over the years,  including Barry Wilmore (1985), Andy Rittenhouse (1985, 1986, 1987), Joel Chandler (1986), Clark Richey (1987), Spencer Hissam (1990), Ted Lockerby (1991, 1992), Scott Trent (1995), Jeff Norman (1997), Wes Gallagher (1997, 1998, 1999), Trey Perry (2002), Brett Vavra (2004), Jon Mahan (2005, 2006), Taylor Askew (2007, 2008, 2009), Bradley Thompson (2007, 2008), Corey Watson (2011), James Norman (2011), Stephen Bush (2012, 2015), Radir Anoor (2015), Jordan Smith (2015, 2016) and Josh Poplar (2016).