Deshon Floyd is doing just fine at Kentucky State, on the football field and in the classroom.
A 2010 graduate of Frankfort High, Floyd is a sophomore in terms of his athletic eligibility after being red-shirted his freshman year. He’s a junior academically.
He saw some playing time last season, mainly on special teams. He’s looking for more when the Thorobreds open their season Saturday at home against Kentucky Wesleyan.
“I did all right on defense,” Floyd said about last season. “I had four sacks. It was just getting in the games. There were a lot of older players in front of me, but this year I should have a lot more playing time.”
He’s currently No. 2 on depth chart at defensive end behind senior Carlos Ware.
“Everyone says you need to set personal goals, but I’ve never been one to set personal goals,” Floyd said about the upcoming season. “I want to play hard for my team, and if I have a goal it’s to win the conference championship. It’s nice to have a lot of individual stats, but at the end of the day having a ring as a team means so much more.
“Last year’s team was nice, but I feel like we can build on last year and go for more success this season, every year try to set the bar higher.”
Floyd has certainly set the bar high for himself academically. A criminal justice major with a minor in psychology, he has a 3.95 grade point average.
“It’s always been academics first,” he said. “At the end of the day if you get hurt and can’t play anymore, you can always count on your degree.
“I’ve never been one of those guys who’s really good at school but can’t play sports, or who is really good at football but doesn’t focus on the classroom. I wanted to excel at both.”
Floyd was named the male academic athlete of the year by the Kentucky High School Athletic Directors Association his senior year of high school.
Earlier this summer he was one of nine KSU athletes to receive the D2ADA Academic Achievement Award given by the Division 2 Athletics Directors Association (D2ADA).
He’s also earned first team all-conference honors for academics.
For Floyd the academic success has been a matter or priorities.
“It’s a personal thing,” he said. “You have to set yourself down and get your work done. If you have good time management it’s not as stressful as people make it out to be. It’s a lot more stressful trying to get all A’s than passing the classes themselves.”
Because Floyd has focused on academics, making the switch from high school to college worked out well.
“I was a little worried at first with all the transition and stuff,” he said. “Incoming freshmen and transfers are required to spend eight hours a week in study hall. I was always in the library and the eight hours were required, so I thought I might as well do my homework.
“Now I don’t have study hall but I’m always in the library, always reading, always doing homework.”
That’s because Floyd has a goal for after graduation.
“I really want to go to law school after this,” he said. “I’ve been doing a lot of reading. All I ever do is read.”
But before that he has three more years of football, starting with Saturday’s game.
“Actually I’m really excited,” Floyd said about the season opener. “We were kind of pushed back and didn’t play that first week. Watching all those other teams play the first week makes me more anxious. I want to get out there.”
And Floyd is glad to be playing for the Thorobreds.
“When I was coming out of high school I talked to schools in Kentucky,” he said. “Me and Marcus (Washington) talked to Rose-Hulman, and I talked to a school in Greenville, N.C., but no one wanted to give me a chance.
“They said I was under-sized, but when I met with Kentucky State and Coach (Wayne) Dickens they said, ‘we like you, we like the way you play, and you fit our defense.’ I wanted to be some place where they would give me a chance and let me play.”
Floyd has found that at Kentucky State. He plans to use all his eligibility, graduating in four years and in his fifth year getting a master’s degree in public administration.
“It goes along with the criminal justice field,” he said, “and it’s a one-year program. I can get my master’s and play my last year of football.
“Sometimes I wake up and say ‘I don’t want to play football,’ but I’ll never give it up. It goes by too quick.”
And when it’s over Floyd knows just what he wants to do.
“If the opportunity comes up I’d look at it,” he said about continuing his football career, “but I’ve never been one who says I want to go to the NFL, or I want to play arena football.
“I really want to go to law school.”