Russell connection adds Stump, Floyd at G-town
BY MATTHEW SPARKS
Reprinted with permission from the editor of THE DAILY INDEPENDENT
Russell seniors Blake Stump and Gabe Floyd will be changing colors on the gridiron this fall. Just as long as they do it together. Both signed a national letter of intent on Wednesday afternoon to play football at Georgetown College in the school library. Stump said he will enjoy rejoining his teammate on the field but is ecstatic to play alongside his brother, Ryan, once again. “I feel relief and very happy to play with my brother,” Stump said on Friday, “after getting through injuries that I suffered in high school.” “We’ve talked about it before,” he added. “It’s.going to be awesome. We played in high school together and playing in college together is a dream come true.” Stump said his brother advised him on one important thing when he arrives on campus. “Be ready to work.” Stump tore his ACL in his final two years at Russell. Coach T.J. Maynard said he is a hard worker and admires his perseverance. “He worked so hard to get himself back to be able to play his senior year than the first home game he tears it again,” Maynard said. “It was devastating for him but I’m so proud of him and excited for him to have another opportunity to show everyone what type of player he is. The good thing is he will have the chance to redshirt and get fully healthy and not rush back. He has a bright future.” Floyd excelled on the pitch with the Red Devils soccer team but football has become his favorite over the last two seasons. He is looking forward to kicking it through the uprights as a Tiger. “It’s going to be so cool to play at the next level,” Floyd said. “Our coaches have prepared us well. It was good to have Blake signing with me.” Maynard said Floyd has shown the ability to compete for significant special teams minutes. “Gabe was a big part of us, especially on special teams coming from soccer,” Maynard said. “Gabe is a hard-working kid and he has put himself in position to go down there next year and compete for playing time. He was a great addition to us and this year he had the added burden of being our punter. He did a really good job for us. Gabe worked really hard in the classroom and the weight room to put himself in this position.” Maynard said Brayden Pack also signed on Wednesday but couldn’t attend. He will have his own celebration on Thursday. Floyd said they decided to sign together after their visit to Georgetown and wanted to return in the fall the same way. “I love the campus,” Stump said. “I just really want to play college football and I felt it was the right fit for me. I love the atmosphere and that they put school first.” “I like the small classes,” Floyd added. “It will be a smooth transition from a small town. The coaches were very welcoming and explained everything really nicely. I’m just excited to go work hard when I’m down there and show them what I can do.” Even though they will be donning the orange and black, both said their maroon and gold roots will never change. The bond with their teammates will always be strong. “It’s always great to know the brotherhood will always be there for me,” Stump said. “They were there for me during the season when I got hurt. It makes me feel better that they were there (at the signing.) Stump will compete at the guard spot on the offensive line. He was one of many Red Devils opening up running lanes for running backs Nathan Conley, Malakai Anderson and quarterback Charlie Jachimczuk. Floyd was near perfect on his PAT attempts, hitting 50 of his 52 tries. He said coach Bill Cronin, who is entering his 24th season at Georgetown, provided him with some positive feedback on his kicking style. “It’s just what they need and they already have built-in friends,” Maynard said. “Another added plus, you have Nick (Conley) and Ryan already there. They can show those guys the ropes and help them along to be successful football players and students.” Stump plans on majoring in biology. Floyd will study physics before moving into engineering.