SAN DIEGO — Jordan Byrd has spent the better half of his life perfecting the art of flight. 

“It’s not an easy job to do, going out there every day to field punts,” Byrd told FOX 5. “You got to have heart to do it and I feel like I’ve gotten that heart from all the coaches, other players who believe in me. Catching balls, making plays back there — you have to always be confident about it.”

A state champion and rated as the top recruit coming out of high school in New Mexico in 20-17, Byrd quickly found a role on the field at SDSU as a true freshman.

“He’s the king of the hidden yardage, picking up those extra things,” said Jeff Horton, the Aztecs associate head coach/running backs coach. “It’s much easier to go 50 yards instead of 90 and he’s a big difference for us when it comes to field position.”

Flash forward nearly half a decade later, Byrd has come into his super-senior season leading the Mountain West in punt returns.

Byrd also put up top 10 numbers in all of college football in total punt returns, combined kick return yards in the top 15 in kick return average and touchdowns in 20-21.

“He fits the exact DNA of what we’re looking for in terms of a student-athlete here at San Diego State,” said Doug Deakin, the Aztecs Special Teams coordinator. “His infectious smile to the way he goes about his business, his diligence and detail is second to none and that’s what resonates with the guys around him.”

Historically, Byrd ranks second in program history in kick return average and fourth overall in kick return touchdowns. The senior told FOX 5 that he’d trade it all for a Mountain West Conference Championship, the 22nd in school history.