Emory Floyd: In-state safety on short list for fastest 2022 recruit sets big commitment date
Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings. This entry is about all things Emory Floyd. The Hillgrove High School standout is potentially a very big piece for UGA in the 2022 cycle.
When the name Emory Floyd comes up in scouting circles, a roll call of numbers tends to follow.
Floyd is a 3-star recruit who ranks as the nation’s No. 25 safety and No. 454 overall prospect for the new cycle.
But those are nowhere near as important as a 4.40 time in the 40. Or his equally impressive 21.18 time as a rising high school junior in the 200 meters.
As it turns out, there’s really just one very big number as it pertains to Floyd.
That’s the number he wears. But that’s not why that 7 matters.
He’s a big Math and numbers guy, but the fact it is a prime number is not that reason. It’s the day of the month he will make his commitment known. But that’s not what that digit is so special.
That No. 7 links the young man known as “Ferrari” Floyd to a man that set him on the trail to big-time college football he blazes today.
Floyd says he owes the bright horizons in his life to his grandfather Basil Benbow.
“I really do everything for my grandpa,” Floyd said. “He told me to always work and try to be something special in life and I just really run to be special.”
He wasn’t an athlete like his grandson.
“He was just a real hard-working man,” Floyd said. “He always said whatever you want in life just to go get it.”
He’s made the decision that he wants to commit on Benbow’s birthday. That will be on May 7. Florida State, Georgia, North Carolina and Notre Dame seem like the schools to watch in the race for Floyd.
I will be commiting on May 7th…🤝✍️ @jeffsentell 😁
— Emory Floyd (@EmoryFloyd) January 5, 2021
His grandfather passed away in 2017.
When all the No. 7s in his life start to add up, he can’t help but wonder about it all.
“That’s a coincidence for me with all of that,” he said earlier this month. “I never really thought of it all like that.”
Floyd chooses to honor him in any way he can. His Instagram sigil is a message of tribute to his grandfather.
“I write his initials on my cleats and my socks,” he said.
He believes that helps him run even just a little bit faster. As he should.
Floyd ran a 21.38 in the 200 in July of 2020. He then found another gear to shred that down to a 21.18 just over a week later.
— Emory Floyd (@EmoryFloyd) July 11, 2020
— Emory Floyd (@EmoryFloyd) July 19, 2020
A prospect edit that means a lot to Emory Floyd
Check out the edit flush right to his heading. That graphic from Georgia touches a lot of the nerve centers of pride in Floyd’s life.
The medals around his neck signify what he could earn as a college sprinter. There’s a flag central to his family arc and he’s also wearing the uniform of the Georgia football team.
Floyd will run track in college. As he should. He’ll be the first member of his family to be a Division I college athlete.
“To be honest, I was born with speed because my Dad used to run track and stuff so I was born with a lot of speed. But I do also train hard and work out real well.”
The Jamaican flag in the background of that edit centers on his family’s lineage from Jamaica.
“My mom and my aunt are all from Jamaica,” Floyd said.
He was very proud to see the Olympic legacy of eight gold medals won by the famous Usain Bolt for Jamaica. Bolt is the only sprinter to win the 100 and 200 meters in three consecutive Olympics.
“I used to like watching him train and stuff and try to get as good as he is or similar,” Floyd said. “Or even better.”
What is he looking for in a college fit?
“Most of all family,” he said. “Not just about only football but where it can take me in life. I want that football to take me to be a better man.”
He also has a word in mind for what he is looking for. Consider it a Floyd word. It sounds like only he knows exactly what that means.
“Whatever feels like ‘homey’ to me, I’ll go there,” he said.
Do any schools fit his own personal definition of that yet?
“Right now Georgia is real good right now,” he said. “Showing a lot of love.”
Does the Charlton Warren move matter to Emory Floyd?
Floyd thanked Georgia defensive backs coach Charlton Warren for sending him that edit with a tweet of his own.
— Emory Floyd (@EmoryFloyd) January 7, 2021
That was 11 days ago. Reports are out now that indicate it might have been more accurate to identify Warren as the former Georgia defensive backs coach on the first reference. He’s set to be named publicly as the new defensive coordinator at Indiana.
Warren was in line to be Floyd’s potential position coach at UGA. He describes him as a “family-oriented” coach that was always checking on him and making Georgia feel like a top priority.
As it turns out, there were a couple of other members of the Georgia staff who had just as big of a presence in his recruitment. The first of those was Georgia special teams coach Scott Cochran. The second was Georgia defensive quality control staffer Rod Ojong.
“Those two coaches really play a factor in why I like UGA so much,” Floyd said on Monday.
Ojong was already singled out in that tweet from Floyd with all of the medals and his native flag.
— Emory Floyd (@EmoryFloyd) December 23, 2020
Floyd says that the Bulldogs are recruiting him as a staff.
“It is really like everybody,” he said. “They mostly talk to me about playing slot corner, corner and safety because they think I got a lot of speed. That’s where all the speed demons are at in the slot. So that’s why they really want me to play slot so I can run with and shut down those guys with speed.”
That includes Kirby Smart.
“Kirby is a real cool guy,” Floyd said. “He’s a real cool guy. Like I didn’t know he was that cool. He’s a real cool guy. He can kick it. We talk about other stuff than football.”
It was more than just like “Dang, kid. You can really run” during those talks, he said.
The best time he’s posted in the 100 meters was a 10.49, he said. What is he aiming for now?
“Probably like a 10.2,” Floyd said.
He feels that he would have broken the 21-second barrier in the 200 if he would have had a full track season in 2020. The fastest time any high school sprinter clocked in the 200 in 2020 was 20.33 in the 200. The best time in 2019 was 20.48.
“For sure,” he said like he was ordering no pickles on a sandwich. “I would have broken 20 seconds for sure. I am going to break 20 this year.”
Does he have a time in mind he wants to break?
“I’m going to say 20.77,” Floyd said, calling on those sevens again.
As he should.
“I just really like the way it looks,” he said of the No. 7 on a jersey.
He wants to be a big factor on special teams in college.
“For sure a kick return guy,” Floyd said. “I’d really like to be an athlete in college because I can play both ways if they put me at it.”
Emory Floyd: The other big things to know
He’s never been to Georgia for a game. Or even an unofficial visit. If the green light went up for visits, he knows that he would go check out UGA first.
Where else would he go?
“I would like to visit Notre Dame, North Carolina and Florida State,” he said.
How does he feel about the Irish?
“They are real good,” he said. “They are very good in their academics and stuff and I like the way they play ball. They are a really good team on the field.”
Grades matter to Floyd. He carries a 3.3 grade-point average and aspires to major in business management and entrepreneurship.
“I want to make a bigger life and be something special out in this life and help my family out,” Floyd said. “Help anyone out who is in need and needs help with anything in life.”
How does all that Emory Floyd speed translate to football?
Is Floyd a fast guy? Or a football player who just happens to run fast? There is a big difference here.
Former Georgia defensive back Glenn Ford is a good source here. Ford now trains high school and college and pro players through the iDareU program for the last few years. He has NFL coaching staff experience with the Washington Redskins in 2017 and the Cleveland Browns in 2019 through the Bill Walsh NFL Diversity Coaching Fellowship.
He now works with the likes of former Roswell and Alabama safety Xavier McKinney, NFL Pro Bowler Marlon Humphrey and current Georgia freshman David Daniel, among many others.
He’s been working with Floyd for about four years now. What does he see in him?
“Speed is football,” Ford said. “Do you know what I mean? Especially at the position, he plays. That’s an easy God-given transition for Emory but he does work very hard. He’s been working hard for a long time with his track coach. That’s coach Tobyette Simmons.”
Simmons ran track at UGA for a couple of years before transferring to Grambling.
“She does a good job with all those boys and girls now that she trains,” Ford said. “But you can’t really teach that elite speed. It is either God-given and you got it or you don’t have it.”
It gives Floyd a lot of positional flexibility.
“You’re talking about a kid who can guard anybody,” Ford said. “You are talking about a kid how if 6-foot-2 and 175 pounds. By the time he gets to college, he will be 185 pounds. But he has the chance to be the fastest defensive back in the country in his last two years of high school.”
“The thing as a college coach you don’t have to worry about here is can he run. Emory can really run.”
Champ Bailey. Arian Smith. Those were probably the first names on the shortlist of players who came to Georgia out of high school who could run like Floyd can.
Smith ran a 10.30 in high school but didn’t really have a senior season. The same can be said of Kelee Ringo. He ran a 10.43 out in Arizona in the 100 meters his junior year on the track. Eric Stokes, Jr. ran a 10.48. Tyson Campbell ran a 10.49 in one of his last high school meets.
Floyd seems poised to at least run that fast in the 100 in his junior year.
“What intrigues me about Emory is he is so fluid,” Ford said. “Because most times you get track kids and they will be stiff in their hips. You kind of saw that sometimes [at Georgia] with Tyson [Campbell] now. I haven’t had the chance to see Kelee run in college but you can see a little stiffness from him in his high school film. You see that straight-line speed but no east-west wiggle. Emory is very flexible.”
“I was very surprised to see how flexible he was to be, you know, a track kid. I think if he really works at it he could really guard all those slot receivers as the nickel guy because he’s got that makeup speed. A guy who is that fast can make a minor mistake and still make up for it.”
The Hillgrove High (Powder Springs, Ga.) standout literally ran across the field this year and ran by everybody to take what looked like a touchdown off the scoreboard.
Floyd said he ran down at least “four or five” ballcarriers this year that were bound for touchdowns. That’s one of his favorite things to do on a field.
That’s a defensive player’s mindset. He’s also a very aggressive defender. He’s always jumping routes and trying to make a play. He goes for those risks because he has the speed to get there. And maybe the catch-up speed to erase the mistakes where he was a little too aggressive.
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