Gators DE Sharrif Floyd striving to improve

By Adam Silverstein
November 2, 2011

When Sharrif Floyd committed to the Florida Gators two years ago, he did not expect to be playing under a head coach not named Urban Meyer. A standout defensive tackle, he probably did not count on starting at defensive end as a sophomore, and he was most certainly unprepared for the NCAA eligibility issue he faced in the offseason.

Perhaps most of all, Floyd could not have imagined that Florida would lose four-straight games and potentially have their bowl eligibility hinging on defeating a worthwhile opponent in Vanderbilt on Saturday during homecoming weekend.

“The losing streak obviously has taken a toll on all of us,” Floyd said Wednesday, “but we’re all focusing on Vandy, the next game and getting the streak over with.”

Floyd lost his first homecoming game as a member of the Gators in 2010 when Florida was upended 10-7 and embarrassed by Mississippi State in The Swamp.

That fact has not been lost on him, and he hopes to celebrate win on Saturday with not only his teammates but all of the fans, too.

“It’s still a big week; it’s homecoming,” he said. “We win – we go and have fun out in Gainesville. We lose – we’re in our dorms and we’re sleeping, thinking about what happened. It’s a big week. It’s homecoming, and we want to be out having fun.”

In order to have that celebration, Floyd and UF’s defense will have to overcome a VU offense playing better than it has in recent memory. He said that improvement became apparent to him and the defense during film study this week.

“From watching film, honestly, I think that they have a more aggressive offense and they’re playing with a little bit more heart in my eyes,” Floyd noted. “It seems like they want it instead of just coming out and playing. It seems like they want it more this year.”

A converted defensive tackle, Floyd does not know where he will wind up playing in 2012 though he hopes he will return to the position he feels most comfortable at. This year he is stuck playing defensive end but feels he has improved each week.

[EXPAND Click to expand and read the remainder of this post.]Defensive coordinator and long-time NFL defensive line coach Dan Quinn has been working with Floyd closely, teaching him which moves he can best utilize to be an effective pass rusher.

“I’m a big guy. I’m not going to be a slim D-end,” Floyd said. “I got to do big guy moves. That’s what I’ve been doing and it’s been working. I’ll keep adding on to it.”

Now that he’s getting more and more pressure off the edge, Floyd hopes to become even more of a threat. He only has three tackles for loss in six games and has not registered a single sack this season.

“As I moved to the end that was something I really wanted to work on. I actually have been improving at that position, and I’m starting to feel more comfortable,” he explained.

If he can showcase his newfound comfort on the field Saturday, Floyd could play a big part in a much-needed Gators victory and post-game homecoming celebration.[/EXPAND]

2 Comments

  1. npgator says:

    Floyd is a damn good player and as he plays more he will only get better. I for one am glad he is a Gator!

  2. El Meester says:

    At my first quick glance I just saw “Gators DE Sharrif Floyd…” and my heart immediately skipped a beat…thought it was going to be another transfer post. Thankfully, it’s just about Floyd striving to become a better player in a new system. Good luck to him. Go Gators

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