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Friday February 1, 2013 Floyd considers Gators DTs coach Young a key influence; his draft stock on rise

Updated: 4:35pm, February 1

Sharrif Floyd and Bryant Young

Gators defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd considers DT coach Bryant Young (right) an important mentor.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – In the world of draft projections, it has been a good week for Gators defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd.

According to NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah, Floyd is “generating a ton of buzz” in the scouting community and Jeremiah reported on Twitter that he spoke to at least one high-ranking NFL executive who views Floyd as a top-10 pick.

Meanwhile, former Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli ranks Floyd as his No. 3 underclassmen in the entire draft, trailing only Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel and Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner.

And one of the NFL Draft’s best-known evaluators, ESPN’s Todd McShay, went on Twitter this week to sing his praises of Floyd as he watched film of the Gators’ win over Florida State in late November.

"Locates, disengages, pursues," McShay wrote. “Floyd is a name the general public will be hearing more and more about throughout the process, since he likely fits either a three- or four-man front. Built like an ox, Floyd can flash violence on first contact and enough burst to penetrate the backfield.”

McShay also pointed out how much Floyd has improved in the way he uses his hands, a huge point of emphasis for former Florida defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and Florida defensive tackles coach Bryant Young.

Bryant Young

Young, the former 49ers All-Pro and one of the top defensive tackles to play in the NFL over the last two decades, worked with Floyd his final two years at UF.

Floyd said recently that Young was a great resource to have after Florida coach Will Muschamp hired Young to his inaugural staff in early 2011.

“He had a great impact on me,’’ Floyd said. “I sit down and talk to him all the time just about ball and sometimes just about life. He has six kids. Six. You can learn more from him than just ball. He’s a great guy and really down to earth.

“You take advantage of those types of guys. You learn as much as you can from them. I try to pick his brain all the time just to know what he’s thinking, even if it’s just the smallest thing -- ‘In this situation, what would you do?’ --learning from him and try to take my game to the next level.”

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