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Photo courtesy of Floyd Family
Jordan Floyd, Kearns Cougars

KEARNS — Jordan Floyd wasn't sure he'd made the right decision when he decided to take up football as a sophomore.

"Football was really different," the Kearns senior quarterback said. "It was fast, physically tough. It was nothing I'd ever done before. I didn't like it very much."

Floyd decided to play football for Kearns High his sophomore year after the urging of assistant baseball coach Matt Rickards, who convinced the honor student that if he could throw a hardball, he could throw a football.

Floyd was skeptical, but he decided to give the sport a try.

"Not really," he said of wanting to play football that first season. "I'd considered it, but I didn't want to miss any fall baseball."

Right away Kearns coaches knew he could be something special. But it wouldn't be until the Riverton game of his junior year (fifth game) that he would convince himself that he had the skills to be one of the state's top quarterbacks.

"We knew he had the ability," Kearns head football coach Bill Cosper said. "I think he may have been a little scared and apprehensive. Quarterback is a tough position."

Floyd admits that he got in his own way, and at one point, after his sophomore year, he almost walked away from football.

"I don't like doing things that I can't do perfectly," he said.

His mother, Marilyn Floyd, acknowledged he sets the bar high for himself.

"He's a first-child perfectionist," she said with a laugh of the oldest of her five boys. "He almost quit between his sophomore and junior year. … I told him to just go to practice and see what happened. A few weeks later he said, 'Mom, I forgot how much I love football.'"

That would also be the season that he would go from a backup to the team's leader. In the Riverton game, coaches put him in after the starter was injured and he set a school record of 342 passing yards (with two touchdowns).

"I was pretty surprised," he said. "It was a big confidence boost. … Maybe I'm better than I thought I was. I thought, 'I can do this.'"

Very quickly, the sport he'd avoided became his passion.

"I love it more than baseball," he said smiling. "It's the best thing. Football is the best thing that's ever happened to me."

It's all the lessons the sport teaches — character, teamwork, discipline.

"It's a tough game," he said. "Quarterback is a tough job, but I absolutely love it."

His mother isn't surprised that he has excelled, because that's what her oldest son does when he puts his mind to something.

"He's so good at it," she said. "He's just a natural. He's so smart; he just picks things up quickly. He knows the plays for every single position."

Floyd's academic achievement (3.9 GPA with multiple AP and honors classes, as well as a perfect 36 in reading on the ACT and a 29 overall) and athletic talent has Ivy League football scouts interested in the young man.

The Cougars sit at 1-3 after playing a tough pre-season schedule, and Floyd has been a leader both emotionally and statistically. He is fourth among 5A quarterbacks through four games, completing 44-of-82 passes for 728 yards for an average of 182 yards per game.

"He would love to play for Yale," his mom said.

Cosper has no doubt he'll succeed because he has talent and a great work ethic.

"He's a leader the kids will listen to because they know how smart he is," Cosper said. "He's dedicated; he's always there and always positive."

Cosper said the team has relied on Floyd even more this season after several starters transferred to other schools and left the players feeling betrayed and disappointed.

"I think it hurts him inside," Marilyn Floyd said. "But it doesn't affect how he plays. In fact, it makes him want to do better. He isn't going to dwell on it. It's gone; it's past. He's going to fight through it. I think it's made the team better."

Her son agrees that the team chemistry is better than it has ever been.

"We've gotten a lot better," he said. "We've gotten closer. They don't want to be here, and I think we're better off without them. We've all got to step up, and that's what we're prepared to do."

Prep football rankings

Class 5A

Team Rec. Pv.

1. Alta 4-0 1

2. Jordan 3-0 2

3. Syracuse 4-0 3

4. Bingham 3-1 4

5. Northridge 4-0 5

Class 4A

Team Rec. Pv.

1. East 3-0 1

2. Timpview 3-1 2

3. Woods Cross 4-0 3

4. Logan 3-1 4

5. Bountiful 3-1 5

Class 3A

Team Rec. Pv.

1. Hurricane 4-0 1

2. Juan Diego 4-0 2

3. Stansbury 4-0 4

4. Dixie 4-0 5

5. Spanish Fork 3-1 3

Class 2A

Team Rec. Pv.

1. San Juan 4-0 1

2. Manti 3-1 2

3. South Summit 3-1 3

4. Emery 3-1 5

5. Millard 3-1 4

Class 1A

Team Rec. Pv.

1. Duchesne 3-0 1

2. Rich 3-0 2

3. Monticello 3-1 4

4. Summit Academy 3-1 3

5. Layton Christian 2-2 5

email: adonaldson@desnews.com