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Gilyard Shows Perseverance

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  • Gilyard Shows Perseverance

    Gilyard shows perseverance


    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 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
    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.


    • #3
      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


      • #4
        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.


        • #5
          Re: Gilyard Shows Perseverance

          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.


          • #6
            Re: Gilyard Shows Perseverance

            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. :helmet:


            • #7
              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.


              • #8
                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
                  Re: Gilyard Shows Perseverance

                  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.


                  • #10
                    Re: Gilyard Shows Perseverance

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


                    • #11
                      Re: Gilyard Shows Perseverance

                      Was just watching the ESPN college classic and MG was killer in the game against Pitt.


                      • #12
                        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
                          Re: Gilyard Shows Perseverance

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

                          ♪ R.I.P. Nujabes ♫


                          • #14
                            Re: Gilyard Shows Perseverance

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


                            • #15
                              Re: Gilyard Shows Perseverance

                              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.


                              Related Topics


                              • Varg6
                                Rams rookie Mardy Gilyard goes from 'Rags to Riches'
                                by Varg6
                                Per Yahoo

                                By Chris Chase

                                Four years ago, Mardy Gilyard(notes) had his athletic scholarship revoked, was working four jobs in order to pay a $10,000 debt to the school and spent his nights homeless in a 2002 Pontiac Grand Am. Now, he's an NFL wide receiver.

                                After being kicked out of the University of Cincinnati for academic reasons following his freshman year, Gilyard wanted to return home to Florida, a move which likely would have ended his football career. His mom and older brother convinced him to stay in Ohio, though, and Gilyard says during that stretch he grew up from the "knucklehead, arrogant, cocky, immature" kid he was. He worked four jobs (including as a pizza delivery man and door-to-door knife salesman) in order to fulfill his financial obligation to the school, a decision which paid off when new Coach Brian Kelly(notes) reinstated him to the team. Gilyard left the Bearcats as the all-time leading receiver in school history.

                                The offense-deficient Rams selected him with the first pick in the fourth round of last month's draft and expect the smooth route-runner to contribute this year alongside fellow rookie Sam Bradford(notes). Gilyard also returned punts during last weekend's minicamp.

                                Give me a guy like Gilyard any day over a player with more talent but questionable work ethic. Success and failure in the NFL has much less to do with 40 times and bench press reps than it does with wanting it and knowing what it takes to get it. Gilyard could have turned his back on his debt, moved home and harbored delusions of making the NFL without ever really working for it. Instead, he lived in a car, paid off the money he owed, got back in the good graces of Cincinnati and earned his spot in the NFL.
                                "I went from rags to riches," he told USA Today.

                                "It just showed I'm a hard worker and that I could fight through adversity. That's all the game of football is: It's about fighting through adversity."

                                If that's the case, Gilyard should have a long and prosperous career in the front of him.
                                -05-12-2010, 05:58 AM
                              • r8rh8rmike
                                Gilyard Playing Catch Up
                                by r8rh8rmike
                                Gilyard Playing Catch Up
                                Thursday, June 10, 2010

                                By Nick Wagoner
                                Senior Writer

                                About 10 minutes after their teammates had cleared the practice fields at the Russell Training Center, rookie quarterback Sam Bradford and rookie receiver Mardy Gilyard remained in place.

                                The duo that could potentially be the next great passer-receiver combo in Rams history has designs on making their presence felt right away.

                                “It is nice to have him here,” Bradford said. “Now that he’s here we are going to try to put in as much work as possible. It’s good for us to stay after practice. I am learning, he’s learning and hopefully we can get on the same page.”

                                While Bradford and Gilyard were pretty much on the same page as the rest of the rookies at April’s rookie minicamp, it’s safe to say Bradford and the rest of the rookie class is a chapter or so ahead of Gilyard at this weekend’s full squad minicamp.

                                After completing those five practices in April, Gilyard was forced to head back to Cincinnati before returning for this weekend’s minicamp. NCAA rules state that a drafted player must stay with his school until his graduating class has completed its coursework.

                                There are no exceptions to the rule so even though Gilyard withdrew from classes before the semester to prepare for the draft; he had to return to his school until the time was right.

                                The time became right Thursday as Gilyard arrived in St. Louis and went through his first practice with the team since May 1. With a little rust on him in terms of his knowledge of the playbook, it was no surprise to see Gilyard working closely with Bradford to try to get up to speed.

                                “It’s just another tool that I’m using – working with my quarterback – trying to get in and go over more plays,” Gilyard said. “He gives me a small percentage of plays after practice to try to keep me brushed up on what we are doing and keep me in line.”

                                For the past month-plus, while his teammates have been going through organized team activities leading into this final minicamp, Gilyard has been doing whatever possible to stay up to speed so that he wouldn’t be too far behind on his return.

                                In Cincinnati, Gilyard says he worked out regularly with current Bearcats quarterback Zach Collaros catching passes and running routes so that he could at least try to simulate what he had learned in his short time in St. Louis.

                                Of course, the Rams did their best to try to keep him on schedule from a distance. They provided Gilyard with pieces of the playbook as well as video for him to study. For conditioning, Gilyard had a regiment he was to follow so that he wouldn’t be grasping for air when he got back for this week’s minicamp.

                                “There was that going on,” Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo said. “He was lifting and running. You don’t want to come out here...
                                -06-10-2010, 07:14 PM
                              • Rambunctious
                                Gilyard article
                                by Rambunctious
                                He sure isn't talking like a one and done.

                                Can't lock out Gilyard

                                UC alum preps for 2nd NFL season

                                By Spencer Dennis | TNR Contributor
                                Published: Sunday, May 8, 2011
                                Updated: Sunday, May 8, 2011 13:05

                                Mardy Gilyard, the most decorated wideout in Bearcat football history and the 99th selection of the 2010 draft, remembers his proverbial "Welcome to the NFL" hit.
                                He knows it came in week two against the Oakland Raiders, but not who the culprit was.
                                "To [be] honest, I don't even know [who hit me]," Gilyard said. "I just knew it was a truck."
                                The former first-team all-American posted a disappointing rookie campaign in which caught just six passes for 63 yards. Gilyard received a signing bonus worth more than $500,000 for signing his four-year, $2.3 million contract with the St. Louis Rams.
                                With his near-future secure, Gilyard is focused on crafting his game while avoiding the distractions that come with being a rich, young pro.
                                "You have all this money now, all this fame now," Gilyard said. "All of a sudden you're a celebrity overnight and everyone wants a piece of you."
                                On the rare occasion that Gilyard does have free time, he prefers the company of veteran teammates. Super Bowl winning defensive tackle Fred "Feezy" Robbins and pro-bowl running back Steven "Jebediah" Jackson.
                                "I pluck a lot of veteran's brains," Gilyard said "Fred Robbins, [who won a Super Bowl with the New York Giants], I call him ‘Feezy.' Stephen Jackson, I call him ‘Jebediah' because he looks so old school. These guys are not going to lead me astray because they have the best interest of the team in mind."
                                Gilyard has not approached his conditioning any differently because of the looming 2011 lockout including hitting the gym instead of attending draft parties.
                                "That [lockout] is too complicated," Gilyard said. "I don't know anything about it."
                                While he did not watch the draft, he did take note of the Rams drafting receivers in the third and fourth round.
                                "[It's the] same way in college. You have freshman that come in every year," Gilyard said. "[St. Louis] had a nice draft class and I'm excited for when those guys come in, because we want to win now. That's our mentality."
                                Gilyard has been training in a gym —near his home in St. Louis— seven days a week, typically arriving at 7 a.m. His regiment is mainly focused on strengthening an injured wrist that bothered him throughout his first NFL season.
                                "I [hurt my wrist] before I even went into rookie camp," Gilyard said. "I slipped and fell back home. It was hurt [pretty...
                                -05-10-2011, 07:44 AM
                              • tomahawk247
                                Rams rookie Gilyard robbed at gunpoint
                                by tomahawk247
                                St. Louis Rams rookie receiver Mardy Gilyard, a fourth-round pick out of the University of Cincinnati, was robbed at gunpoint near the Cincinnati campus Monday night.

                                WLWT reports that Gilyard was walking with another man just after 9:30 p.m. when two men approached, one holding a gun. Gilyard had a $500 necklace and $90 in cash taken from him.

                                Police have made no arrests, and no one was injured. There's no word on whether Gilyard, who was a star player for the Bearcats, was specifically targeted in the robbery.

                                Taken from PFT
                                Glad he escaped without any injuries
                                -05-18-2010, 08:40 AM
                              • MauiRam
                                Gilyard will bring talent and personality with him to Rams
                                by MauiRam
                                Combination of 'Bradford-to-Gilyard' hopefully will become a common refrain ..

                                By Alvin Reid

                                Tuesday, April 27, 2010

                                Forget Sam Bradford; the guy to talk to this weekend during the St. Louis Rams rookie minicamp will be fourth-round pick Mardy Gilyard.

                                Sure the cameras will follow the first-round quarterback phenom’s every move. But the guy who will most likely catch most of his passes at the Russell Training Center is bringing more than talent to this team.

                                Gilyard has flair; personality; panache.

                                He also wasn’t disappointed at being drafted in the fourth round; many scouts and NFL personnel staffs had him being selected a bit higher.

                                "I thought I was going to be one of the top guys taken as far as wide receivers,” he said during a conference call Saturday. “But God has a plan for everybody, so I just tried to stay focused and deal with it.”

                                Gilyard’s college career shows that he lost focus in the classroom, regained it while playing in a football league most of us never heard of and grew into a top-echelon receiver.

                                And all this happened after he played cornerback as a freshman.

                                While driving to Florida in March I heard Gilyard on a national show and became a fan. He was witty while telling the story of his trip to the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis and clever while working the “$5 dollar foot-long” Subway song into the interview.

                                Listeners had to laugh as he described NFL scouts and doctors “pulling on my big toe and twisting it.”

                                “I had stubbed my toe two years ago, didn’t miss a practice let alone a game. But they all kept asking “how’s the toe?'" he said.

                                He made an impression on the St. Louis media when asked what he was going to do during the remaining hours of Saturday after he was selected.

                                “I’m about to go crabbing,” he said from his Bunnell, Fla., home and cracked the place up when he said the desired bait is chicken necks.

                                In fact, he was responsible for catching some of the dinner for the draft party at his home later that evening.

                                The Rams added wide receiver Mardy Gilyard from Cincinnati with their pick in the fourth round of the NFL Draft on Saturday.
                                “Crabbing is an old school way of catching crabs. I’m from the backwoods and we’re country folk back here, so we’ll be in the backlands or the backwoods here in Florida not too far from where my parents stay at. It’s just old school - chicken necks, string and netting - just kind of catching crabs. Go for what you know,” he explained.

                                “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. “

                                He certainly won some female fans when he admitted that he calls his mother “my sugar wooga ooga booga” and “my everything.”

                                -04-27-2010, 05:14 PM