He is currently the state leader in tackles (97) and tackles for loss (28) and runs down ball carriers like they stole something. He is a true student of the game and Sean Byrne (6-3 232 MLB/TE Sr.) knows he will have to play at this pace if he plans on giving his West Linn Lions (6-1) a chance at a title.
Byrne will play the biggest game of his life in less then a week against #2 Lake Oswego (7-0) and all of the preparation he has put into his game will have to be on display. Bynre sits with two offers (Portland St, Air Force) and is a legit D1 kid, but its the intangibles that separate him from his peers. When you grow up in a football family you learn things that you wouldn’t necessarily be able to obtain anywhere else. His father John was a career Duck and his other uncles were athletes at the Naval Academy and Notre Dame. Sean embraced the knowledge being given to him by his family and turned that into a life he wanted to pursue.
On and off the field Byrne is two different people. Off the field he is polite, well spoken and good to others. On the field he is nasty, not nice and will chew you up and spit you out if he gets the chance. He may be the hardest hitter in the state and sometimes hurts himself laying so much hat. We at NEI currently have him ranked the #8 overall player for the class of 2012 behind two other linebackers who currently sit with multiple offers (Brett Bafaro 6-3 225- ORE, WASH, BOISE ST, ORE ST, COLORADO, UTAH- Offers) and Joel Skotte 6-3 225- Oregon St Commit).
He has the mentality necessary to succeed at the next level, and there is no fear involved in anything that he does. Byrne has learned that its tough to get recruited in the Northwest as most schools put Cali kids first just to be safe. It might not be fair but Byrne embraces it, ” I know what I can do and hopefully I will get an opportunity to do it at the highest level possible”.
The Lions have won their last four games by a total of 12 points against better then average football teams. This is big come playoff time, because no one on the West Linn squad will question if they can win a close ball game. To win a league title the Lions will have to beat the might Lakers who’s conference win streak currently sits at 41. No small task for a team that needs a victory over a top school to solidify their legitimacy. In the Lions two point win over Grant Byrne made 17 tackles, and 5 tackles for loss in a dominating performance. He is averaging 13.8 tackles a game and 4 tackles for loss to lead all other 6A defenders.
Byrne’s a kid on the D1AA- D1 bubble, but his love for the game and passion for play separate him from his peers. He is willing to put himself through rigorous workouts and year long training to make this kind of year possible. Schools want to see if he is a game changer when it comes time to play the likes of LO, so Friday will be fun as Byrne will be knocking heads with a team that hasn’t lost a conference game for the better part of a decade.
Sean’s a class kid and we will continue to follow his progress, and wish him the best of luck moving forward with his career.