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  1. #1
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Gilyard Shows Perseverance

    Gilyard shows perseverance

    BY JIM THOMAS
    04/26/2010


    Mardy Gilyard did a little bit of everything waiting for his name to be called during the NFL draft. He watched some of the draft coverage on TV. He went outside to relax with his family. Played with his dog. Went fishing.

    But Round 1 on Thursday, and Rounds 2 and 3 on Friday, came and went without his name called. When he finally got the call Saturday morning, he was about to go crabbing.

    Crabbing?

    "Crabbing is an old school way of catching crabs," Gilyard said Saturday in a conference call with St. Louis reporters. "I'm from the backwoods, and we're country folk back here. ... Chicken necks (as bait), string and netting — just kind of catching crabs.



    "We're actually throwing a big party for me here in a couple hours, so I've got to be the man to bring back some crabs. Everybody loves seafood."

    Everybody loves a good human interest story, too, and that's Gilyard, the University of Cincinnati wide receiver drafted in the fourth round by the Rams.

    Less than four months earlier, Gilyard had related some of his experiences growing up to reporters attending the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, once breaking down into tears. He grew up in poverty and with an allegedly abusive father in Bunnell, Fla., a tiny town near the northeast coast of Florida.

    They ate mayonnaise sandwiches. And syrup sandwiches. Took their cereal with water when there was no milk. And when there was milk, sometimes added sugar to it for added flavor. Gilyard said he was so skinny he was "like a lollipop."

    At times the electricity was shut off because the bills weren't paid. But with the help of his mother, Viola Gilyard Crudup, and his older brother Otis (now a Flagler County, Fla., police officer), Gilyard got through. All the way through to a football scholarship far away from home in Ohio.

    But there were struggles and heartache in Cincinnati as well. Following his freshman season in 2005, Gilyard had his scholarship pulled because of academic problems. Unable to afford tuition and housing, Gilyard worked three jobs: construction, pizza delivery and selling cutlery door-to-door. For months, he slept in a car.

    By the fall of '07 he had righted himself, was back in school, and back on the team. The rest is, well, Bearcats history. As a junior in '08, Gliyard was named All-Big East Conference as a receiver and a returner, catching 82 passes for a school-record 1,276 yards and scoring two touchdowns on kickoff returns.

    As a senior last fall, Gilyard was an All-American, finishing second nationally in all-purpose yards, averaging 206.9 a game. He caught a school-record 87 passes for 1,191 yards, and added two more TDs on kickoff returns and another TD on a punt return.

    What happened to Gilyard as a college freshman — basically getting kicked out of school — might not qualify him for the "four pillars" standards of character established by Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo. How he responded to that adversity, however, might earn him a fifth pillar.

    "We looked at that as a positive, to be quite honest with you," Spagnuolo said. "There's nobody perfect in this world. But what Mardy has shown is that he can go through a tough time, persevere. (He) showed a lot of resolve in what he did, failing out of college and then coming back, working those jobs. He obviously wanted it bad enough. ... And now you have a very competitive, hungry guy who has fallen once or twice and knows how to get back up."

    Rams general manager Billy Devaney added, "Most guys would have folded. You flunk out of school, you say, 'Well, OK.' You go back to Florida. This guy lived in his car for a while trying to make ends meet."

    So the fact that he went later than expected in the draft? (He was the 13th receiver taken; 14th if you count Dexter McCluster.)

    Stressful, but certainly not something that will break Gilyard's spirit. Not after what he's been through.

    "Yeah, I thought I was going to be one of the top guys taken as far as wide receivers, but God has a plan for everybody," Gilyard said. "So I just tried to stay focused and deal with it."

    In the NFL, beauty is often in the eye of the beholder. And the Rams had Gilyard ranked among the top four or five wideouts. They couldn't wait to draft Gilyard on Saturday morning, turning in their card without using any time on the clock.

    A smaller, shifty receiver, Gilyard has good hands and uses quickness over straight-line speed to get open and operate in the open field. Now, he's less than a week away from catching Sam Bradford passes at the Rams' rookie minicamp.

    "I can't wait. Oh, God, I can't wait," Gilyard said. "Now I can finally get ready to go to work. I've been waiting to go to work for forever, it seems like."


  2. #2
    BonnieBengal is offline Registered User
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    Re: Gilyard Shows Perseverance

    Love this article. I'm a big fan of Mardy's and I know he's going to do great things for the Rams. He will contribute right away on kick returns IMO.

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    Re: Gilyard Shows Perseverance

    Now indeed this is a rare commodity coming into the NFL...someone who can apphresiate the opportunity and chance to make it. Its refreshing to see a humble, hard working WR and not these stuck on themselve egotist.

    Give the right situation and development, Gilyard could become the next T. Holt

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    Re: Gilyard Shows Perseverance

    I really hope he makes the squad. I'm excited for him. He seems like he has the right attitude, lets hope it shows on the field.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Devaney, if you care about this team... fire the offensive coordinator!!!!

  5. #5
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    Re: Gilyard Shows Perseverance

    Quote Originally Posted by Mooselini View Post
    I really hope he makes the squad. I'm excited for him. He seems like he has the right attitude, lets hope it shows on the field.
    From what I understand , he was a great wr at Cinncy and should start right away. I don't see him having a problem making the team.
    I stopped going to the dentist.......I got tired of the cavity searches!

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    Re: Gilyard Shows Perseverance

    Quote Originally Posted by Theodus69 View Post
    From what I understand, he was a great WR at Cinncy and should start right away. I don't see him having a problem making the team.

    You're probably right Theo. I've only seen a couple of videos and this kid seems to have great hands. Average to above average speed. Fresh legs, etc.

    Welcome to the Rams MG! All the best to you.

  7. #7
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    Re: Gilyard Shows Perseverance

    I'm pretty excited about him cause he put up 365 all purpuse yards against alabama so imo he is gonna start day 1.

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    Re: Gilyard Shows Perseverance

    So do you guys think he might replace danny boy in the return game. I watched a cincy game this year as well as their final game versus PITT. I think he should

  9. #9
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    Re: Gilyard Shows Perseverance

    Quote Originally Posted by 3STL9 View Post
    So do you guys think he might replace danny boy in the return game. I watched a cincy game this year as well as their final game versus PITT. I think he should

    I think that's a strong possibility. I'm sure that his return abilities was one of the reasons the Rams had him in such high regard. Not a discredit to Amendola or his accomplishments as a returner, but it seemed to me that he was kind of back there by default.

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    sdobbers is offline Registered User
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    Re: Gilyard Shows Perseverance

    I'm super excited to see him play for the Rams! Bradford to Gilyard (Gila Monster??) all night long!

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    Re: Gilyard Shows Perseverance

    Was just watching the ESPN college classic and MG was killer in the game against Pitt.
    I stopped going to the dentist.......I got tired of the cavity searches!

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    clarasDK is online now Registered User
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    Re: Gilyard Shows Perseverance

    I like the time right after the draft. So much hope But MG really sounds like a hardworking kid who is not quitting no matter what. Thats the kind of spirit we need.

    Go RAMS!

  13. #13
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    Re: Gilyard Shows Perseverance

    He shall go by the nickname, "Mardy Gras".

  14. #14
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    Re: Gilyard Shows Perseverance

    Could this guy be the next Torry Holt? I hope so!!

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    Re: Gilyard Shows Perseverance

    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
    Could this guy be the next Torry Holt? I hope so!!
    He is wearing number 81 in camp so maybe lol. He put up 365 all purpose yards against our boy bradford and the sooners so we will see.

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