With the recent DUI arrest of Florida Gators wide receiver Frankie Hammond, people are once again jumping all over the Florida program for their lack of discipline off the field.
Quite frankly, you can’t really argue with statistics.
Fans of Florida’s rivals are certainly licking their chops to slam Gators fans once again.
And I’m sure all of the Gators fans are tired of hearing it.
Honestly, I’m sure many of them are joining in and giving their own program a bunch of flak for yet another indiscretion.
So today, I am going to tell you about incoming Florida freshman Sharrif Floyd to tell you that there is still hope out there for Florida fans everywhere.
I’m sure many of you have heard Floyd’s story. If you haven’t, then you are in for a treat.
The 6’3”, 310 lb defensive tackle is certainly a specimen of a football player, to say the least.
But today, I am going to share with you how Floyd got to where he is today.
Growing up, Floyd didn’t have many of the luxuries piled on to blossoming superstar athletes.
He had to work a part-time job at a landscaping company to help out at home, where he lived with his grandmother.
Many high schoolers (and collegiate athletes) these days probably think a handout from a booster qualifies as a job. Don’t believe me? Just ask Reggie Bush.
So, when Floyd was invited to the Army High School All-American Game, he didn’t have enough money to make the trip there (Andy Staples of SI and his take on Floyd and others who can't afford to make these trips).
He knew it might be his one chance to put himself on the national radar.
So he went to his guidance counselor, and after much thought she devised a plan: They would hold a baking sale to raise the funds needed for the trip.
The sale was a success, and Floyd dominated the All-Star Game (unfortunately, his grandmother fell ill and couldn’t attend the game).
How many of these “troubled” athletes these days do you think would even consider baking to raise money to go to an All-Star Game?
If you read between the lines in many of these recruiting scandals, you could probably determine where most of these athletes would turn for this sort of funding.
I’m sure a lot of that type of mentality contributes to why so many athletes get into trouble off the field: They simply feel they are God’s gift to the world.
I hate to break it to you, guys, but you aren’t.
On the flip side, Floyd is the type of player and person that we should cherish.
If he works this hard off the field, how hard do you think he works on the field?
Not to mention, he doesn’t take all of that recruiting jazz to heart. Read this article to see his take on the whole recruiting thing .
At the announcement of his collegiate decision, his guidance counselor, Dawn Reed-Seeger, was at his side. Reed-Seeger was tearing up during the announcement.
Floyd also let his high school coach, Ron Cohen, announce his choice for him.
In a time when so many athletes crave the attention of this television announcement, how many star athletes would defer this pivotal moment to their coach?
This isn’t to say that Floyd is a perfect human being. I surely haven’t met the guy, so I can’t vouch for him.
But, by all accounts, he certainly sounds like someone that we should be rooting for on the football field.
It is definitely better than rooting for people with an arrest record longer than my arm.
That extra weight might help some players on the field, but I think we can do without all those extracurriculars.
My only fear is the seemingly toxic atmosphere at Florida will corrupt Floyd.
From all accounts, it seems that Floyd is above those influences because he has worked hard just to get to this point in his life.
Perhaps he can do the opposite, and be a good influence on the rest of the program.
One rotten apple can ruin the bunch, but perhaps the reverse can be true as well.
At least, I can dream.
At the very least, you now know that Florida’s roster isn’t completely comprised of thugs.
It is kind of sad to think of it this way, but these days that is something to be proud of.
I hope this gives you something to look forward to this coming football season. It is certainly better than hearing about the next arrest.
Welcome to Florida, Sharrif. I’m sure you will make Florida fans proud.
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