MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia went to the transfer portal to replenish its secondary. The reinforcements it found all have one thing in common – versatility.
Marcis Floyd is one of those new additions. He joined the Mountaineers in January after four seasons at Murray State.
“Talking to all the coaches, it felt like the right move to make. It seemed like they were trying to start something new here with bringing in transfers,” Floyd said. “Knowing that I’ll have the opportunity to play at the highest level and have a chance to lead some younger guys while I’m here, too.”
When he arrived in Morgantown, he and the coaching staff discussed he would be playing at safety despite spending the last four years at corner.
However, the transition to a new position was “smooth” for Floyd since he was adjusting to a new program at the same time. He was able to learn the expectations that come with both at the same time.
“At corner, you listened to what the safety says. Now, I’m the safety so it’s like I am the quarterback of the defense and have to tell those guys what to do now,” Floyd said.
The switch didn’t deter Floyd. He liked the added responsibility of being in control of the defense. It provided him with an opportunity to prove himself.
Floyd didn’t attend many football camps in high school. He received the offer from Murray State after a coach came to watch him play duPont Manual High School. After that game, he was given an offer that allowed him to play his collegiate career in his home state.
That was the only FCS offer Floyd received.
“I always have the chip on my shoulder mentality no matter what level I play at. You are always going to be doubted no matter what you doing or where you are at, so you have to keep that chip on your shoulder and play aggressively,” he said.
That’s what he did at Murray State, and now, that’s what he plans to do at WVU.
Floyd said watching guys like Alonzo Addae and Charles Woods make the transition from FCS to FBS served as inspiration. He saw how they succeeded at the next level of the game, and it played a part in him wanting to do the same.
“There’s a bunch of FCS guys who can play at the FBS level, but maybe we are overlooked or didn’t have those offers coming out,” Floyd said. “Transferring up, you have the opportunity to show what you can do at this level.”
Co-defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach ShaDon Brown knows firsthand just how valuable FCS players can be. From what he has experienced, he believes they are the type of players who can fit seamlessly into WVU’s program.
“I cut my teeth at the FCS level coaching at Wofford College. I know there are good players at that level,” Brown said. “I think the DNA of West Virginia is blue collar. Guys that have an underdog mentality. Guys who are coming up a level have that. That chip on their shoulder, they are coming from the FCS so they have something to prove. Those guys fit our DNA probably as well as anybody from the transfer market because of the DNA of the state of West Virginia and this program.”
The biggest difference Floyd has noted since coming to WVU is the increased focus on recovery and the access to the different tools that allow players to take better care of their bodies.
Even though he has yet to play a game at WVU, he has already noticed the on-field differences, too.
“The big difference is the speed, size and how the game goes. The game goes a lot faster at this level. The quarterbacks are smarter, can read the defenses more,” Floyd said.
However, when it comes to learning Jordan Lesley’s defense, Floyd feels like he is a step ahead in his development due to the similarities it has to his last program. He said at Murray State, they shared a lot of the same concepts and techniques, WVU just uses different terminology.