HYATTSVILLE, Md. (BVM) — When Tawfiq Byard steps on the field for Dematha Catholic High School, he realizes that his last name receives attention.
The brother of two-time first-team NFL All-Pro Kevin Byard plays not only for his own reputation but for the reputation of the name on the back of his jersey.
“He (Kevin) was the number one safety in the league last year,” Tawfiq said. “With the leadership role he brings to the Titans and everything he brings to the city of Nashville, so it’s that standard.”
Along with Tawfiq, brother Muazz Byard was also a big part of the DeMatha Catholic defense this past season. With Muazz following Kevin’s footsteps of going to Middle Tennessee State University this upcoming fall, it will be up to Tawfiq to maintain the Byard standard for his school.
While Tawfiq sets the leadership bar in the Stags locker room, he is becoming a coveted commodity on the recruiting trail for his football ability.
Tawfiq plays safety just like his brother Kevin and is following a similar path. He ranks as a three-star and the 17th player in the state of Maryland in the 2023 class according to Rivals.
With Tawfiq holding 10 offers and counting, he’s been able to lean on Kevin for some guidance.
“He’s been talking about when a good time to commit is, whether committing before the season or after the season,” Tawfiq said. “And to go where’s best for you and where you’re gonna play early.”
Having the chance to communicate and learn more about these programs is a thrill for any high school athlete and that is no different for Tawfiq.
“It’s been fun taking these trips and seeing which schools are interested in me,” Tawfiq said. “You see these coaches, you hear about them on social media and you watch the teams on TV and now you’re being recruited by these teams. You’re in their facilities and you’re having meetings with the coaches, so it’s fun.”
During these meetings, Tawfiq has gotten a chance to go over Xs and Os and receive feedback on his own game. With Tawfiq being a film junkie, it was an awesome experience.
“I watch a lot of film,” Tawfiq said. “I take pride in studying my opponent week-by-week. Playing safety in this day and age, you have to be the quarterback of the defense, so you have to see everything.”
Tawfiq watches his brother’s film and tries to identify some of his tendencies that make him successful. The most glaring one: His knack for finding the football.
“He’s always around the ball,” Tawfiq said. “If you get to the ball, you never know. You might get a tipped pass or a fumble. In this day, if you get the ball, you get money.”
Despite all of the success he’s had up to this point, Tawfiq knows it means nothing unless he meets his long-term goals.
“I feel like I haven’t accomplished anything yet,” Tawfiq said. “Getting offers and stuff is just one step. This is just high school. There’s two more steps, two more gears, that I want to get.”