With no fullback position in the Mike Leach's Air Raid offense, Byers said he "figured" after the coaching change that his future would be on defense.
And when Byers and fellow running backs Eric Oertel and Kyle Lappano were called to a meeting with the new defensive coaching staff last winter, the 6-2, 232-pound third-year sophomore said he knew he was headed to linebacker.
Byers actually came to WSU as a linebacker in 2009, but made the switch to fullback early on and saw immediate playing time there as a true freshman.
Linebackers coach Jeff Choate said Byers had to "reprogram" himself to his new position.
"I mainly had to just how learn to read a play again and how to get off blocks," Byers said. "My job before was to stick people, now it's to get off them."
Byers, who is majoring in mechanical engineering, figured it out quickly. Choate told CF.C in recent days that Byers could even be on the field for the first defensive snap Thursday at Brigham Young.
"I call him, ‘Ol Reliable,'" Choate said. "He's someone who is really hard to keep off the field."
SIMILAR TO A baseball manager who might bring a right-handed bat off the bench against a left-handed specialist, Choate always is looking to exploit advantages. At Boise State, Choate said the coaches were not afraid to change personnel each down. It is a philosophy he continues to embrace.
That means, said Choate, looking at a player through his strengths. A right-handed bench player in baseball might struggle against pitchers who throw with the same hand, but be valuable as a lefty and Choate said linebackers are the same way. While Byers struggles in pass coverage at times, Choate said "he's stout against the run."
"When I see Jared, I think it's a game of matchups. If I know there's a high probability of a run, why wouldn't I want to use (him)?"
IN A SENSE, BYERS HAS been a situational player throughout his career -- without complaint. After the move to fullback in October 2009, he started against Arizona and Oregon State that season.
"I definitely didn't expect to play that year," he said. "I was grateful to be out there."
And Wulff said Byers' performance in the Notre Dame loss in 2009 was a sign of things to come.
"If you go back and watch the film ... he really played well," he said at the time. "You can expect to see him in there. I'm very excited about that young guy."
Even though fullback was not a staple of Wulff's offense -- he generally started three wide receivers -- Byers took the first snap in 2010 against Oklahoma State. His season also ended that day when he tore the medial-collateral ligament in his left knee. Byers is reticent to discuss the injury other than to say his knee is "alright."
He said the year away from football was challenging, but this would be Byers' final year of eligibility had the injury not occurred. Choate is glad that is not the case simply because he enjoys coaching him so much.
"He loves football," he said. "I love coaching guys who love football. And I love Jared Byers."
For Byers and his teammates, they would love to advance the Cougars to a bowl for the first time since 2003. That quest now is just days away.
"We're feeling good," Byers said. "I feel like we have improved as a team. Everyone has worked hard during the summer. Everyone is excited to go down to Provo and show the progress we made. We're ready to get going."