Everyone was talking about former Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson after the preseason opener for the Carolina Panthers and Houston Texans.
But there was another playing on the field Wednesday night that people are raving about and that's former USC receiver Damiere Byrd. The third year pro caught four passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns including a 50 yard scoring reception on pass from Joe Webb in the second quarter.
This game was a breakout performance for Byrd. He's been off and on the Carolina Panthers roster the last couple of season with stints on the practice squad. But now he has been participating in a full training camp and is making strides to not only make the roster but earn snaps on game day.
"This game really helped me take that next step. Being on the practice squad the past two years and then the last regular season game last year really showed the growth that I've had over the last two seasons and continuing going forward," Byrd said.
The short but speedy receiver ran tack at South Carolina and made contributions to the football team. He didn't put up crazy numbers for football but his crazy performance for the Panthers on Wednesday night could be what we see from him this season.
"I always knew that I've been a player and have been able to play. Even on those teams back in South Carolina if you talk to anybody they knew that I could play. You can't control when you get the ball thrown to you, you can't control how many reps you get, you can only control what you do with those opportunities once you do get them."
Byrd and the Panthers will play against Tennessee on the road on August 19.