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Rams rookie Mardy Gilyard goes from 'Rags to Riches'

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  • Rams rookie Mardy Gilyard goes from 'Rags to Riches'

    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.
    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

  • #2
    Re: Rams rookie Mardy Gilyard goes from 'Rags to Riches'

    Really outstanding character and motivation to work his way up, just by seeing him succeed in the NFL will make a story that will surpass Kurt Warner's legacy.

    ♪ R.I.P. Nujabes ♫


    • #3
      Re: Rams rookie Mardy Gilyard goes from 'Rags to Riches'

      Originally posted by fliptalianstallion View Post
      Really outstanding character and motivation to work his way up, just by seeing him succeed in the NFL will make a story that will surpass Kurt Warner's legacy.
      I wish him all the best, but to trump the Warner miracle...?!

      Wow! that would almost be unnatainable...... Still, that said, records are made to be broken..


      • #4
        Re: Rams rookie Mardy Gilyard goes from 'Rags to Riches'

        Yeah, I don't know about that ; however, adding another great story to the Rams' history is something I'm all for. I really like this guy a lot.
        Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams


        Related Topics


        • r8rh8rmike
          Gilyard Shows Perseverance
          by r8rh8rmike
          Gilyard shows perseverance

          BY JIM THOMAS

          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.
          -04-26-2010, 10:34 PM
        • 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
        • 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
        • r8rh8rmike
          Gilyard Practiced With Team In Arizona
          by r8rh8rmike
          From Rotoworld:

          Rams WR Mardy Gilyard has begun practicing with teammates at players-only offseason workouts. Gilyard was in Arizona last weekend working out with his fellow Rams. Last year's No. 99 overall pick had come under some fire for sitting out player-organized activities on the heels of a dismal rookie season. He'll still face an uphill climb toward a roster spot in a year of offensive transition for St. Louis. Jun 15, 3:32 PM
          -06-18-2011, 02:16 PM
        • 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