Said Thurmond: "I was a freshman when Byrd was a senior. He was a high school All-American and offered by every big-time school in the country, but he never let it go to his head. I've always tried to pattern myself after CJ with hard work and being humble."
"Georgia's coaches said I definitely have the speed to play in the SEC. They just want to see me compete against defensive backs in drills at camp. They told me then they will have a better idea about a scholarship offer. They said I was under consideration right now, which excites me."
"He kept introducing me to other people saying 'Have you met the state's fastest player?' It was funny," Thurmond said with a smile.
Thurmond started earning his reputation for speed during his sophomore year at North Augusta. It was his intention to run track only to stay in shape for football, but his success opened eyes around the Palmetto State. He ended finishing third in the 800 at the Class AAAA state championship meet with a time of 1:55, which is two seconds off the state record. He is undefeated so far this year in the 800.
On the gridiron this past season Thurmond caught 46 passes for 546 yards and 6 touchdowns for North Augusta, which ended the season 1-10.
"Marcus can run with anybody that plays the game on Friday nights," North Augusta coach Dan Pippin said. "He's raw and has a lot of work to do, but he has something you can't coach: big-time speed."