Friday, February 12, 2010

Newest Gator from Philly, to Make the Swamp His New Home

Gator from Philly, Finds New Home at the Swamp!
In the Fall of 2005, in Philadelphia, there were hundreds of 8th graders who put on a helmet and shoulder pads and decided to give football a shot for the first time. Most of them were persuaded by friends who encourage them to play, some persuaded by dreams of playing on TV in the NFL, or even some were forced by parents to be involved in something after school to keep them out of trouble. Whichever the case was for this 8th grader, he was special. He had no idea that it was a decision that may change his life forever. This 8th grader’s name is Shariff Floyd.

Little did Sharrif Floyd know that he would grow to be a 6’3 310lbs Defensive Lineman ranked #25 on ESPNU 150 as one of the nations’ top Seniors for 2010. On January 9th, Floyd #73 participated in the most highly touted exhibition games in America, where he recorded two sacks in the U.S. Army All-American game. At the game it is tradition for the top recruits to announce the school of choice at halftime of the game. Floyd announced that he is committed to the University of Florida Gators. (Where I am sure he is going to give nightmares to opposing Quarterbacks!)

I was fortunate enough to catch the busy big-man and talk to him about what it was like being your average kid growing up and competing at a Philly High School. We also talked about how he became the Top Defensive Lineman in the area and one of the top in the nation.

Q and A with Sharrif Floyd, George Washington H.S.

Me: When did you start playing football and just out of curiosity, what positions did you play?
Sharrif: “I actually didn’t start playing until Middle School, like 8th grade. I played mainly Offensive Guard, Defensive Tackle, and Defensive End.
Me: So when did you realize you weren’t just your average big kid? Like were you the best on the team?
Sharrif: “Well I was the best, but I didn’t know it. I was just playing for the love of the game. I was actually going to stop playing until one of my coaches told me that I was good then I stuck with it.”
Me: Well after you decided to stick with it and play in High School what was your motivation and where did you get that “nasty” edge on the field it takes to become the type of player you are today?
Sharrif: “It just came to me. I wanted to work harder than the next guy. I know I didn’t play in my first Varsity game and from then on I didn’t want to sit the bench anymore. I practiced harder that week and became the starter.”
Me: I know you are tired of all the same football questions. I want to show all of Philly the other side of this 300 pounder beast on the field…so, what is your favorite hobby outside of football?
Sharrif: “Outside of football, basketball. At Hardin Middle School we won the championship, I played Sonny Hill League where we were 23-2 , but I stopped in High School to focus on my football career.
Me: Ok, so if there were no such thing as football, what would you strive to be the best at?
Sharrif: “Criminal Justice, like the FBI. I know there are more things after football. A lot of times guys find things where it’s not a lot to do. I want to be challenged and keep going.”
Me: I respect that a lot. So tell me what’s your favorite TV show?
Sharrif: “C.S.I. Miami, because I like the investigations and Scrubs, it’s like a hospital comedy (haha) It’s funny!”
Me: (Haha) Scrubs is hilarious. That leads me to my next question. If you were to pick an Entourage of celebrities to hang out with, who would they be?
Sharrif: “Wow…ummm, I don’t know. No one has ever asked me that before!”
Me: I told you The Philly Football Movement will keep you on your toes! (Haha)
Sharrif: “Man, I’m not sure. Maybe Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, the guy from King of Queens (Kevin James). Anyone who can have fun because I like to laugh.”
Me: That guy from King of Queens is funny, but I can’t remember his name either
Me: Ok to finish up, what song is playing in your iPod before a game to get you hype?
Sharrif: “Juelz Santana, “They say a family that prays together, stays together. And one that walks apart Just falls apart. So, together we stand, divided we fall. United, we form Voltron and take off all. Let’s move. Yes, the birds left the nest. I’m all grown up I gotta fly with the rest. Best of the best is what we strive to be. A legacy is what we trying to leave.”
Me: So that must mean a lot to you, you recited the lyrics?!?
Sharrif: “Yeah, I always put team first.”
Me: Ok, so what advice would you give footballers in Philly who want to become top recruits?
Sharrif: “We can compete with anybody in the country. In High School you have to focus on your grades all 4 years. It stops a lot of guys from going to big colleges. If you start early and get in combines, you gotta get out there, gotta show off, you gotta really want it. Football will take care of itself, but coaches love to hear you have a 3.0.”
Me: Final Question! What do you think of The Philly Football Movement?
Sharrif: “I like it. The fact that it’s focused on more than just football and it’s bringing together different people in football. Like Public and Catholic leagues hate each other, but they now they can get to know each other, so that’s good.”
“It’s a good focus because it’s more than just football and grades. Kids need to be able to take their minds off of it sometimes and look at the bigger picture.”


  1. I like everything, except he didn't go to Penn State.

  2. In an interview he did early in the recruiting process, Penn State was high on his radar. He just thought it was more of a Linebacker school. Almost if "almost" matters to any die-hard Penn State fans. You guys are a different breed!

  3. This kid shows a lot of great qualities on and off the field. He'll definietly go on to represent the city of brotherly love! Good luck Sharrif, its nice to see he's got a head, a heart, and the motivation to be the best he can.

    P.S. Sharrif, I use to live in Florida, BRING SHORTS!