September 21, 2009

Sharrif Floyd, a 6-foot-3 and 310-pound senior at George Washington High in Philadelphia, is one of the top defensive tackles/ends in the nation. Floyd was named the MVP of the Premier Showcase in June and won the Maxwell Award at Football University in the same month, earning an invite to the prestigious Top Gun camp in July. With dozens of college offers to choose from, the 2010 U.S. Army All-American Bowl nominee will regularly check in with to discuss his season and the recruiting process.

Buckle up. This season is going to be a fun ride.

It seems like a whirlwind since last January when all this began at the U.S. Army National Combine in San Antonio. Since then, I've been getting offers from colleges all over the country. This week, I am taking my first official visit, really getting started with this whole recruiting process.

Later this week I will pack my bags again as I head out to USC. I visited Florida last weekend and I still have Penn State, South Carolina and North Carolina to go in the future.

A lot of people are asking me if I have a top five, if I have already made my decision. I haven't. I am keeping my mind wide open. Besides the five schools I am taking official visits to, I also have Boston College, Rutgers, Ohio State and Cincinnati in the mix.

As important as my college decision is, I'm still focused on this season. We're off to a 1-1 start. We played well in our opener against a very good Parkland team and the game was scoreless until we made some mistakes late in the fourth quarter. Though I had a good game (seven tackles, three sacks) we ended up losing 15-0. We rebounded the next week with a 36-15 win over Turman and play Central Bucks East on Thursday night.

It's great fun to play for George Washington, mainly because I love the school so much. I have a great head coach, Ron Cohen, who takes the time to talk to me like a man and share his wisdom with me. There is my guidance counselor, Ms. Dawn Reed-Seeger -- you can always find me in her office -- who has taught me so many things about life and decision making.

Then there's the fans. Almost any Friday night, I've got probably 40 friends in the stands, all my boys and ladies, up there to cheer me on. They're like family to me. Those are the people I kick and chill with, who put up with my playing the same Jay-Z song over and over again or let me whoop on them in Madden or on NCAA. There also the ones who race me home from practice and run red lights so I can get home and study. Or play NCAA Football ... I usually line up as Penn State. I know everyone is going to read into that a whole lot, but I just like their defense in the game.

As I look at colleges, the most important thing to me first and foremost is the academics. You can't count on football for the rest of your life and you need to have something solid to build yourself on. This year, I'm really enjoying my Earth Science class. Our teacher is fairly chill. He keeps the lights off and he uses a lot of media and videos to give us a different perspective. I like going to that class and I want to ace it.

I've spoken with people, and I want to major in electrical engineering in college, wherever I go. It's a passion of mine. I guess I just like to be a spark on and off the field.

For me, I just want to be a normal kid and it's tough at times. Life can be hard and there are important decisions to make. I know I've got friends and family who are there for me and people like my coach and Ms. Reed-Seeger who can show me by example. I'm not worried about fame and prestige, that stuff works itself out in the end. I just need to be me and never stop working hard. I don't want to be a statistic, I just want to be the best I can be. That means I need to hit the books as hard as I'm going to hit my opponents this year.

Speaking of sparks, I need to prepare for my next game. See you next time.

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