Sharrif Floyd on NFL draft, cartoons, family
April, 23, 2013
By Lynn Hoppes | ESPN.com
Sharrif Floyd's life might seem like another "The Blind Side."
Growing up in a tough neighborhood in Philadelphia. Mother battled drugs. Father murdered. Leaving home at 16. Living with a grandmother. Finding mentors in and out of school. Eventually getting adopted by a businessman and his family. Leaving the University of Florida after his junior year and being a likely top-10 pick in Thursday's NFL draft.
But Floyd, a 6-foot-3 and 300-pound defensive tackle, said there really is no comparison.
"That was the Michael Oher story. This is my story," Floyd said. "I never look back at this about what could have been. If anything, it's made me stronger. It's been more a blessing."
Now, Floyd, with an impressive showing at the scouting combine, likely will go to the Jacksonville Jaguars at No. 2 overall or to the Oakland Raiders at No. 3.
If he goes second, it'll be the highest draft spot in the history of the University of Florida.
"I love the Gators. It'd definitely be an honor, but I'll wait to see what happens," said Floyd, who picked Florida over USC. "I know that I'm very comfortable with the city of Jacksonville. That would be a great place. It's right up the road from Gainesville."
Playbook had a few minutes with Floyd, nicknamed "Rozay" after rapper Rick Ross and his outlandish beard, to ask a few questions:
You had a tough upbringing. What would you tell others who are dealing with the same thing?
"It's all about their decision-making. Things might not be going right at home with their parents or they are separated from their family, they still control their life. It's about how fast you are willing to grow up and find something you love to do."
What did you do to take your mind away from your troubles?
"I would watch cartoons all day. 'Tom and Jerry.' That's the best one. 'CatDog' is another. I still occasionally watch cartoons. It takes you away from all that seriousness. You can't be serious watching cartoons."
Do you have an outfit picked out for Thursday?
"Yes, I do. But it's a surprise. I'm not nervous at all. I've done all I can do at this point. Whatever takes place takes place."
What will you do with that first check?
"I'm going to give back some to my various communities. I will help my family also. I don't have any other extravagant needs."
You seem to be a good place mentally these days.
"The past is the past. I'm only thinking forward. Whatever happened happened. I can only keep going forward."