Growing up without a lot of money or family structure, it took a lot of luck for Florida Gators 2010 five-star defensive tackle commitment Sharrif Floyd (Philadelphia, PA) to end up where he is today. He explored that topic along with why he eventually chose Florida over the Ohio State Buckeyes in a conversation on ESPN‘s First Take Wednesday morning. That conversation is transcribed below:
Q: How tough were things for you? What was one of the toughest moments you faced?
SF: “I’d say one of the toughest moments was going to school – elementary school – wearing basically the same three outfits for weeks. Nobody really paid it any mind. I think that was the hardest thing coming up, having to deal with it. Choosing the right way to go – I’d say that was the most important thing for me.”
Q: It would have been easy for you to choose a different path. You had so much instability in your life. Who were the ones that were the guiding forces that made sure [you stayed on your path]?
SF: “I started being guided by someone my sophomore year. My freshman year – actually when I started playing for my high school, George Washington – when I first started it was coach [Ron] Cohen. He’s been there for four years for me now. That freshman year, it was basically just me and him. I did a lot of things on my own. I really wasn’t open with him at first, to start telling him everything that was going on at home. But I did good with showing that there is nothing wrong with the way I am living.”
Read the rest…including why he chose Florida over Ohio State…after the break!
Q: You stayed frequently with your guidance counselor, Dawn Seeger. You know you need to get in front of these big-time college recruiters to get the offers to go play where you want to play. An idea was cooked up – tell us about what you guys did to make your dream come true so you could get in front of these recruiters.
SF: “We was actually sitting down, she got the invitation [to the U.S. Army All-American Combine]. I didn’t know how I was getting there. We wasn’t paying it no mind. She said, ‘I’ll think of something – see you tomorrow.’ […] I came back in the next day and she said, ‘We’re baking brownies, we’re doing raffles, we’re doing it all. But not only are we baking them, we’re going to do it with the special ed [children].’ I was like, ‘OK, let’s try it, let’s get it done.’ We actually raised about $2,000. Coach Cohen’s first team actually donated $1,000 – so it made everything a whole lot more easier.”
Q: Had you ever baked anything before in your life?
SF: “I actually have. I cook and I bake. I’m a better cooker than baker though.”
Q: How many brownies would you say you sold?
SF: “Every week or two weeks we had like 80 brownies, so it was a lot.”
Q: So you get to the combine and now you’re on the radar of these coaches. Tell us about what happened for you there.
SF: “I get to the combine and, from what they say, I ripped it. And I just kept going from there. Tom Lemming called me over and was just talking to me. He said, ‘You’re the best one over there, keep going, keep doing it.’”
Q: And he’s not alone. There are a lot of the other recruiting services that follow these things have you as the best defensive linemen coming into college. So now you’ve got all of these schools that are aware of who you are, and you had some difficult choices to make as far as recruiting goes. You decided to go to Florida, and then Urban Meyer says, ‘I’m going to take a step back.’ Did that affect your decision? Where were you when that happened?
SF: “When that actually happened I was actually on Florida, it was Florida. Once I heard it, I am like, ‘Well, I’m going to Ohio State.’ And I had my mind set on Ohio State. We actually got down to the Army All-American Game and I told them where I wanted to go and went up to my room. After that, I was just sitting back and just thinking for about an hour. So I called my mentor, Andre Odom, and I’m like, ‘I’m going to Florida.’ He said, ‘Why?’ I said, ‘Because I don’t want to choose the coach, I want to choose the program. If I have the coach, that’s a plus. But I’m choosing the program.”
Five-star defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (Philadelphia, PA) choosing the Gators