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Texas LB De’Gabriel Floyd remaining engaged despite not playing

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According to Tom Herman, the freshman is trying to make the most of his difficult situation.

via @GFloyd_1

During practice, Texas Longhorns freshman linebacker is with his teammates. On gamedays, he’s out on the field with him.

Unfortunately for Floyd, he’s not doing so in pads, as he Longhorns medical staff decided in April to hold him out this season as a result of a spinal stenosis diagnosis. Floyd was dealing with stinger issues dating back to high school and was unable to participate in full-contact drills.

On Wednesday, head coach Tom Herman provided an update on Floyd.

“He’s doing great,” Herman said. “He’s at practice every day. He’s a full participant with his team. Great coach on the field for the guys. He’s intense. He loves football.”

The concern for the coaching staff was how Floyd would handle having to sit out a season and his uncertain future playing football. Fortunately for the Longhorns and the potential for Floyd to play football on the Forty Acres, he’s remained engaged.

“Those are some difficult conversations, but it’s why you get into this business — to help young men through times like this and he’s got a great support system here in Austin, Tony and Jeanne [Miller].”

Beyond Floyd’s relationship with the coaching staff, the presence of his so-called “Austin Family” is an extremely important support system. In fact, Floyd’s connection to the Miller family is a significant reason why he ended up at Texas in the first place.

A former track and field star at UCLA before becoming an Olympian, Tony Miller got into coaching Pop Warner football, which led him to meet Floyd in 2013. Floyd lived close by the Miller family, so Tony started taking him to and from practice. Then Floyd’s mother became sick and Floyd started spending more and more time with the Miller family, eventually going on vacations with them.

“The first time I met him I said, ‘this kid is phenomenal,’ Jeanne told The Football Brainiacs last year. “I’m not really a football person. I wouldn’t know that. I’m talking about as a kid, his personality, the way he embraced Chance and Cameron was just amazing. The rapport they had and they’d just barely met and it’s like, ‘Wow! They’re hanging out as if they were siblings.’”

When the Millers moved to Austin, Floyd starting coming to visit them and the family bought his ticket and accompanied him to the critical Junior Day in early 2018 that cemented the Longhorns as a serious contender in Floyd’s recruitment. He pledged to Texas weeks later — with the Miller family in attendance — though the relationships with the coaching staff and other players played a big role.

Now the coaching staff is working to ensure that Floyd has the on-campus support that he needs.

“Obviously he’s got a great relationship with Coach [Todd] Orlando and Coach [Yancy] McKnight and myself,” Herman said. “So it’s just constant counsel, I guess would probably be the best word.”

As that process continues, there haven’t been any alterations of the original plan.

“The medical plan hasn’t changed,” Herman said. “We’ll evaluate him in January when he comes back for the spring semester and see if anything has changed.”