Sept. 14, 2000
CHEYENNE, Wyo. -
Malcom Floyd is described by his University of Wyoming footballteammates and coaches as a happy-go-lucky guy, but also quiet and reserved.
Floyd, a redshirt freshman receiver, is from Sacramento, Calif., and wasready to return to Laramie July 10 to work out with his teammates and getready for the upcoming season.
But a few days before the trip, Floyd, who was 18 at the time, experiencedsomething no one should ever have to deal with at his age.
Floyd found his father, James, dead in their house in Sacramento from aheart attack. Floyd said he had no prior knowledge that his dad was ill orhad heart problems.
"He was normal the whole day," Floyd recalled.
Needless to say, football took a back seat among Floyd's priorities afterhis father's death. He arrived in Laramie right before the start of fallcamp in early August.
UW coaches and players weren't sure how Floyd would react once he returned.
"When he came back, he just didn't look like Malcom," UW receivers coach RobPhenicie said. "Malcom's usually pretty happy-go-lucky, but he's not a guywho shows his feelings a whole lot. We watched him pretty closely."
Floyd appears to be dealing with his loss just fine.
He is the Cowboys' second-leading receiver with seven catches for 59 yards.Off the field, Floyd seems to be getting back to his normal way of life.
"We have Malcy back now, and it's good to see him smiling around campus andwhen we hang around off campus," said UW senior receiver Alex English.
Floyd said that's what his dad, who was just 56 when he died, would havewanted him to do.
"He wouldn't want me to be down," Floyd said. "He would want me to stay up.That's all I can do. I just wish he was here, because he did all of thiswork to help me get here at this level.
"He was probably my biggest fan. He went to all my games. He was the one whodrove me up (to Laramie) last year when I was a freshman."
Floyd's coaches and teammates have been impressed, and even amazed, by howhe's dealt with his loss.
"We've talked about it a couple of times," said UW redshirt freshmanreceiver Ryan McGuffey, Floyd's close friend. "We've talked about it acouple of times, but he's been pretty quiet about it. If anything, he tellsme not to worry about it."
Added English: "As a 22-year-old senior, I don't think I could have handledit if I had gone through the same situation. I am really proud of Malcom.Not even so much the way he's handled it, but on top of that, the way he'scome out and responded on the field while handling it."
Floyd said the one person who has helped him the most in this tragedy hasbeen his mother, Lea, who is back in Sacramento.
"I call my mom every night to see how she's doing," Floyd said. "Everybodyon the team has tried to help me. But talking to my mom helps me the most."While Floyd counts on support from his immediate family, he also has thesupport of his new family - his football family.
"He's with his other family now," Phenicie said. "Everyone knows whathappened, and we're all watching out for him.
"He's done everything we've asked, and he's faced more adversity than a lotof us have to face at that young of an age. I've always respected Malcom,but I have a lot more respect for him now for what he's been through."
Floyd said there won't be a day that goes by he won't think of his dad, andthere won't be a football game he plays in where he won't remember what hisdad told him.
"Ever since elementary school, every game I've played in I've been nervous,"Floyd said. "People say it's not good to be nervous. My father said it'sgood to be nervous because he thinks it makes you play harder.
"But he also said it's not good to be scared."