Editorial: Sizing up Sharrif

The Na­tion­al Foot­ball League meas­ures just about everything when it comes to the su­per-size hu­man be­ings who are in­vited to join the ranks of pro­fes­sion­al foot­ball.

Take George Wash­ing­ton grad Shar­rif Floyd, for in­stance. The league’s stats show he can run the 40-yard dash in 4.92 seconds. His ver­tic­al jump is 30 inches. They even meas­ured the length of his arms, a stand­ard prac­tice. At 31¾ inches, his arms were seen by some to be too short to dis­rupt of­fens­ive line­men with longer limbs.

 Go fig­ure.

 In the hype pre­ced­ing the draft, Floyd was routinely men­tioned as a Top 3 pick. But he had to watch two oth­er de­fens­ive tackles go be­fore him, and wait for the Vik­ings to take his name off the board at Pick No. 23.

 The mys­tery re­mains about why Floyd was not among the Top 5 first-round picks. But it struck us that the NFL, in all its wis­dom, per­haps had failed to take the most im­port­ant meas­ure­ment of all — the size of his heart.

For any­one who knows him well will tell you that he has the heart of a cham­pi­on and the men­tal tough­ness to match.

They have seen up-close how he works so hard; in­spires oth­ers; builds deep loy­al­ties and re­mains ap­pre­ci­at­ive of those who helped him es­cape the dan­ger­ous streets of North Phil­adelphia and an equally tox­ic home en­vir­on­ment.

Flor­ida coach Will Muschamp summed it up best when he told NFL.com “there is no reas­on he should be the kid that he is right now. His back­ground is as tough as any­one I’ve been around.”

As our Ed Mor­rone re­ports on the sports pages this week, a whole posse of close sup­port­ers traveled to New York City last week to be with Floyd at the pin­nacle of his foot­ball ca­reer so far.

Among them was his former high school prin­cip­al, Kathy Murphy, who on Tues­day talked about the “high en­ergy” that aboun­ded at draft headquar­ters at Ra­dio City Mu­sic Hall that night.

“It was ex­cit­ing, a won­der­ful ex­per­i­ence,” she said.

Months ago, Murphy asked Floyd if he would re­turn to Wash­ing­ton to give the high school com­mence­ment speech this June 19. He told her he would if he didn’t have a con­flict. Last week, in New York, she re­newed her re­quest. And again, he said he would gladly re­turn to do the hon­ors, if the Vik­ings al­low.

To us, those are signs of loy­alty and char­ac­ter, the true meas­ure of a man. ••

You can reach at lswanson@bsmphilly.com.

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