By Jerry Casarez
Life has a way of taking unexpected turns without notice at any moment and Chris Floyd has experienced his fair share. For the 25-year-old junior and football standout, life didn’t always look so promising.
Floyd, who is better known these days for his contributions as a defensive tackle on last season’s football team, was once a troubled youth who is now majoring in criminal justice. “I want to be a probation officer. I want to help juveniles because I once was a juvenile myself. I used to get in a lot of trouble and things like that. I just want to help the youth and give back,” said Floyd.
He hopes that his own experiences in life can help others so they don’t have to fall into the same obstacles in life. “I went through a lot when I was younger,” said Floyd.
Floyd found salvation in sports. He feels sports have changed his life for the better. “I pretty much was always involved with sports. It kept me out of trouble. That’s what I did to get away from a troubled home and troubled environment. I went through a lot of things when I was younger. I was shot because of gang violence. After that I pretty much changed my life and how I looked at things,” said Floyd.
He was 15 years old when he was shot and admits he wasn’t doing the right things as a youth. “I grew up without a father like a lot of people and pretty much it was tough. You look to people for guidance and all I had was my mother. Many times, you don’t listen to your mom and the right things she tells you. You think you know everything,” said Floyd.
Those lessons had an impact on who he is today. Floyd not only experienced those things, but also was once homeless. A dispute at home lead him to being kicked out and he soon found himself sleeping in his truck. It took him about eight months to get back on his feet.
At one point, he would go house to house just looking for a place to shower, while working two jobs, until the economy got tough. It was during this period as he collected unemployment benefits that he decided to go back to school and earn his degree.
“Some things God just puts in your way and he teaches you a lesson without you even knowing. I was able to get on the right path after that and take sports more serious. I was able to do the things I needed to do and do well in school,” said Floyd.
Football wasn’t his only passion as he started off as a basketball player. Standing 6 feet 3 inches and weighing 280 pounds he not only had size but agility, which has helped him be a defensive standout at football.
“That’s a big reason how I got my quickness. Basketball was my first love, first sport. I noticed I was always stronger than a lot of people,” said Floyd. Soon after hearing from those around him that he should try his hand at football, he took more of an interest.
Floyd grew up in Monrovia, where he attended Monrovia High School before spending a year at Mt. San Antonio College. While there, Floyd began to hear about the football program and the opportunities being offered at ELAC. “I heard about all the scholarships that they were giving and the program they were building. I just wanted to be a part of that,” said Floyd.
With the success the football team has had, Floyd reflects on what it took to garner those accomplishments as a team. “We came together as brothers; it was a bond between all of us. I saw ELAC football unlike any other program I had been at. That’s (brotherhood) the thing that separated us from all the other teams and helped us get the championship,” said Floyd.
Floyd will be continuing his education at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri, where he hopes to contribute to the NCAA, Division II, football program. As Floyd reflects on his past, he now presents a different mindset of a man who now realizes the opportunities he has before him. “I went through things only to appreciate what I have here. We won a championship, we won a bowl game and that nobody can ever take from us. We were the first to do in a long time,” said Floyd.
He now reflects on how proud his mother is of the man he has become. “She’s proud of me now. Everything I have done. Everything I have become. She is my supporter. She is my all. She is the biggest person I had in my life that’s important,” said Floyd