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Floyd embraces change in more ways than one

Published: Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 01:02

Junior quarterback Matt Floyd has a passion for football that’s been evident since high school.

But recently he discovered another interest off the field.

Over the summer, Floyd came across a new passion — one that urged him to change majors two weeks before the start of the spring semester.

Floyd caught the politics bug over the summer with the heated Obama-Romney election along with many students at USF. But for Floyd it stuck.

Before the spring semester started, Floyd changed his major from mass communications to political science.

The switch, Floyd said, is a relief.

“I really didn’t know what I wanted to do,” he said. “Changing majors definitely put me at ease, because now I have classes that I’m really interested in.”

Floyd’s newfound interest in politics led him to yet another discovery — a passion for pro-Israel
advocacy.

“Ultimately the career I would like to have in politics is work for the state department,” Floyd said.

“I would just love to work with international relations and keep ties with us, the Middle East and Israel.”

Floyd, who recently started attending meetings for USF Hillel and American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) meetings, said he hopes to spend the rest of his life advocating for Israel.

“I’ve always had a love for Israel as a Christian,” he said. “Jesus was there in Israel and then politically Israel is a big ally of ours, economically and militarily.” Floyd said. “Israel is a big part of our life whether we realize it or not. So I’ve always wanted to get involved with
Israel and foreign relations type stuff. It’s what I want to do in the future.”

Michael Kalmowicz, a sophomore majoring in international studies, who met Floyd in a class they had together, has had a deep interest in both politics and Israel and has helped the quarterback to develop both a stronger interest as well as way to becoming more involved, according to Floyd.

“I told Michael that I wanted to get more involved in Israel and that I didn’t know what to get involved in,” Floyd said. “He’s kept me up to date on things going on with Israel and the Middle East. He just took me under his wing and it’s been good.”

After developing a bond with Floyd in class last fall,Kalmowicz said he noticed Floyd’s drive on the field was the same that he carried off the field.

“He’s a very humble person and he sincerely cares about everything he does,”

Kalmowicz said. “The reason why he got involved was because he understands that this isn’t a Jewish issue, but an American issue.”

Though politics and Israel advocacy have caught the interest of Floyd, the next football season is still around the corner and offseason training is still a focus for the quarterback.

While his newfound passions were the beginning of a fresh start for Floyd, changes began much earlier.

The first of those changes came in November. In a win at UConn, former senior starting quarterback B.J. Daniels went down with an injury. After backup starter Bobby Eveld was injured in a game against Miami, Floyd went from a backup to a starter for the remainder of the season.

Fast forward to a crushing loss to Pittsburgh at the Raymond James Stadium to end the season at 3-9, where Floyd took the start and another change was in the making.

“Experience is big, and I got a lot of experience in those last three games,” he said. “It’s helped me gain more confidence as a leader. Experience is key.”

Floyd finished last season going 57-110 through the air with 466 yards and five interceptions.

With Skip Holtz and most of his coaching staff gone, Floyd now has to prepare for a whole new system.

“With the new system it’s a lot of mental stuff, more than it is physical,” Floyd said.

“Physically it’s all the same, but mentally is what I’m really focusing on, getting mental reps in, learning the playbook and seeing how things are run.”

While Taggart remains busy in the midst of recruiting, the new coach did have the opportunity to meet with every player, including Floyd.

As the Bulls are still out recruiting and offseason workouts are underway, Floyd’s future as the starting quarterback is probable but not concrete.

This doesn’t affect the attitude of Floyd, who aims to start fresh next season to help establish a completely new team.  

“Everything is completely different so basically it’s going to be a whole new identity and a whole different USF team than it’s ever been here,” Floyd said.

 

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