More Mature Gilyard Returns To Bearcats

He may not yet be a household name among many Bearcat football fans, but Marty Gilyard is a very talented young man that is just glad to once again be a Bearcat.

Marshwan Gilyard came to the Bearcats in 2005 after being named 1st team all-state in Florida.  He rushed for over 2,500 yards at Flagler Palm Coast High School, but the Cincinnati staff decided to put the speedster on defense where he played back-up cornerback and returned some kicks.  Against Miami of Ohio, he flashed his brilliance by returning his first collegiate kick 60 yards, the longest for a Bearcat since 2002.  Last year, Marty redshirted while trying to get his life in order.  "I had a lot of growing up to do.  I didn't want to admit it, but I was a big baby.  I'm an adult now, and a lot of my childish ways are gone."


After being named the Scout Team Special Team Player of the Year in 2006, Marty left school for personal reasons, but now he's re-enrolled and ready to resume his Bearcat football career.  "It's been a blessing.  Everything is moving so fast.  It seemed only yesterday that I was staying with a friend or just staying in my car.  It was kind of hard, but now I'm blessed.  I thank God for every day that I'm here."


Being back on the practice field may be a blessing, but Gilyard's return hasn't been as smooth as he would have liked.  "I pulled my hammie yesterday, and I was kind of down because I was with the 2's, and now I can't compete.  But Coach has been real positive telling me to just stay with it and stay in my playbook and keep paying attention.  Everybody has been real positive about the whole thing."  Marty thinks the hamstring injury will probably keep him out of action for a week or two.


One of Gilyard's best friends on the team last year was Derrick Stewart.  In fact, Stewart had called Marty only minutes before our interview.  Now Gilyard is a candidate to replace Stewart.  "Stew, that's my brother.  He showed me a lot of stuff before he left.  He knew he was going to leave and that he was in a bad situation, but there was nothing he could do about it at that point.  He told me I would go to wide-out whether I liked it or not.  He told me to just take care of business, and that's what I'm going to do."  Coach Kelly believes Marty gets off the line of scrimmage better than Stewart did and has the potential to be an even better receiver.


Even though Gilyard has spent his two seasons in Cincinnati on defense, he remembers those glory days in high school.  "Going from being an all-state running back in high school to going to defense here, I kind of missing scoring touchdowns.  I think it's a good fit."  Touchdowns aside, Marty believes he could return to defense at some point, even if it's a part time gig.  "I think Coach could have some plans to sprinkle me in on defense some how some way.  I could see it happening."


Even though Marty had left the Bearcat football team, he hadn't left football altogether.  This summer he played with the Kings Comets semi-pro squad.  "I refused to take any money.  I just wanted to play to help those guys and stay in shape.  I didn't know it was wrong, but the (Cincinnati) coaches told me about it, and I got into a little trouble.  Once I knew it was wrong, I went to the whole team (Kings Comets) and told them I was done.  I didn't want to just tell the head coach.  I wanted to tell the entire team and face the situation.  As a man, I had things I had to do and going to school is one of them.  They told me they would rather have me in school as opposed to playing for them.  I really respect them for telling me that."  Coach Kelly said the matter has been resolved, and the fact that Gilyard was not enrolled at Cincinnati at the time of the incident actually helped his case.  Marty received no suspension or further punishment.


The main reason people knew Marty had played with the Kings Comets was that his name appeared in the Cincinnati Enquirer for returning a punt for a touchdown.  "I love to compete, and I got the chance to return kicks.  I love returning punts because everything is so fast.  It's like lightning, but you also have to be smooth."  Marty said Coach Kelly presently has him at #2 for returning kicks, and the Bearcats also want to utilize his speed for blocking kicks.  "I love blocking kicks so they're going to bounce me around and give that chance."


Many Bearcat football fans may not know of Marshawn Gilyard, but if this young man gets and stays healthy, he could be a lethal weapon in Coach Kelly's arsenal.

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